Analysis by Eyes on the Forest coalition finds that Bengkalis district hit the most fire hotspots during March 2015 and PT Riau Rokan Lestari (RRL), a non-affiliated timber supplier concession got the most along with APRIL-affiliated PT Sumatera Riang Lestari (SRL).
Fires hotspots still haunt Riau province as in recent week there were 114 fire hotspots that analyzed by Eyes on the Forest based on NASA Firms EOSDIS Data, and Bengkalis district still the area mostly suffered by fires with 62 hotspots.
Eyes on the Forest analyzed that 290 fires hotspots accumulatively detected in period of 11 January - 11 February 2015 where Bengkalis district has got 160 of it, the most among the district in Riau Province.
Joint military operation in Giam Siak Kecil (GSK) Biosphere Reserve, Bukit Batu, Bengkalis Riau, in late last month revealed the involvement of two former police chiefs, a high-ranking TNI-AU (air force), as well as a number of police and military service members and government officials on the encroachement of the internationally recognized protected area. The area is always burnt annually then converted to plantations, media reported.
Bengkalis district government set up a team to verify land dispute in Rupat Island this week in attempt to mediate conflict between PT Sumatera Riang Lestari (SRL), a timber supplier associated to Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) against Rupat Island (Pulau Rupat) residents.