Fire Prevention and Management

Our Sustainability Policy commits to Zero Land Burning as per the prevailing laws and regulations as well as RSPO, ISPO and ISCC principles and criteria regarding forest fires.

Fire prevention and management protocols are implemented in each estate corresponding to their level of fire risk. These include trained firefighting and patrol teams, fire look-out towers, remote sensing using satellite data, fire warning signs, readiness of fire-fighting equipment, internal and external communication, and awareness programs before and during the dry season.

We apply an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) system, a fully integrated approach that comprises prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and early detection activities. Because early detection is crucial, we use satellite-based monitoring of fire hotspot activity and conduct our own local monitoring using fire towers and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We are now not only monitoring hotspots but also provide daily, weekly, and monthly fire hotspot prediction reports directly to the estates. Aside from prevention, we also apply a range of mitigation measures to minimize fire risk.

Throughout 2021, the RSPO Fire Watch detected six hotspots inside our concessions (Cultivation Rights Title or HGU), namely one at PT Kayung Agro Lestari (KAL), one at PT Sahabat Mewah Makmur (SMM), and four at PT Galempa Sejahtera Bersama (GSB). We also carry out fire monitoring using NASA’s FIRMS (Fire Information for Resource Management System) fire alert platform, a publicly available hotspot satellite, as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and regular patrols. Our monitoring detected nine hotspots with normal confidence and accuracy within our concessions in 2021.

One of these incidents occurred at KAL and one at SMM, while the other seven incidents occurred at GSB. Our field verification at KAL found that the actual location was outside our concession, in an area of the nearby Laman Satong Village. Our investigation concluded that there were land clearing activities for agriculture by the Laman Satong Village customary community on an area they have occupied without formal land titles. Similarly, the fire at SMM was found to be located outside our concession at about 100m from our borders and was also caused by clearing by local farmers. Detected hotspots at GSB are caused by fire from surrounding areas that have spread into our HGU. Our firefighting team promptly extinguished the fire during all these wildfire events.

Additionally, satellite monitoring detected 98 hotspots with a normal confidence level and no hotspots with high confidence level within a 5-km radius surrounding our boundaries across the Group in 2021. Our firefighting team has extinguished a total of 35 fire spots in these surrounding areas (4 in Belitung, 14 in Siais, and 17 in Ketapang). We continue to engage with local communities on wildfire prevention initiatives.