Many hotspots detected in concessions, EoF analyzes

EoF News / 26 June 2013

EoF News (PEKANBARU) - At least 6772 fires hotspots were detected accumulatively in Riau Province in period of 1-23 June 2013, based on MODIS Fires satellite monitoring that analyzed by Eyes on the Forest this week.

By concessions, pulpwood plantation got most hotspots detected in the period with 1797 where APRIL has 930, and APP 867. It is followed by 1361 hotspots in palm oil concessions, and protected area 311. It means that the rest 3469 coming from areas beyond those uses including out of concession areas, and selective logging concessions.

EoF reckoned that the hotspots number could not represent that the companies were involved in setting fires, but it needed further groundtruthing and investigation to find out perpetrators of fires detected in the areas.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered the police and law enforcers to investigate the forest and land fires which cost millions of people in Riau, and other parts in Sumatra, as well as neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

Many business groups and corporate denied their involvement in setting fires and causing regional haze as they claimed they conducted “zero burning policy.”

“However, we need thorough investigation and groundtruthing to find out real perpetrators and masterminds, so the companies’ claim is not just zero commitment,” said Rico Kurniawan, director executive of WALHI Riau chapter.