Eyes on the Forest coalition analyzed distribution of fire hotspots during week 1-7 August 2017 as its number on peatland in Sumatra reached 351 (NASA FIRM The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite /VIIRS) sensor.
EoF News (PEKANBARU)— Eyes on the Forest published NASA’s FIRMS MODIS fire hotspots data and satellite images on its interactive map to allow easy monitoring of current and past fires in Sumatran concessions of the Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp & Paper and others.
Sinar Mas Group (SMG) and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) last week denied publicly that their companies are involved in ongoing forest and land fires. Eyes on the Forest coalition said that media stunt by the giant company is ridiculous and hard to trust.
Eyes on the Forest today published a new animation it produced using MODIS True Color Terra images since 17 August 2015. The animation shows smokes coming out of Asia Pulp & Paper's own PT. Rimba Hutani Mas concession in South Sumatra.
Eyes on the Forest found two Landsat images showing fires in and around concessions of four Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) suppliers in peat areas in Jambi and South Sumatra provinces and heavy smokes from them.
NGOs in West Kalimantan analyzed that 217 fires hotspots detected by NASA Firms Eosdis during 28 June – 6 July 2015. 124 out of 217 hotspots or 57 percent was found in palm oil concessions and by districts, Kubu Raya is the most area hit by fires with 81 and followed by Ketapang and Sambas with 44 and 36 respectively.
A supplier of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) in North Kalimantan cleared natural forest on peatland in violation of APRIL’s recently launched 2nd version of the Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP).
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.
Field investigator team set up by Ministry of Environment (MoE) found strong evidences of the involvement of 23 plantations and industrial timber plantation (HTI) companies of a total of 43 firms investigated in forest and land fires case which had caused severe haze in the beginning of this year, media reported.
A number of environmental communities and organizations participated in ‘Melawan Asap’ (Fighting against Smoke) action and made speech along their protest in the front of Zapin Monument and Riau Governor Office, Pekanbaru, on Monday (10/3). On this seventeenth ‘anniversary’ of Riau fires and smog disaster, they demanded immediate and serious handling from the central government and the provincial government of Riau.
The second week of month showed the most fire hotspots found in Riau province since fires and haze returned from January. There are total 1605 hotspots detected accumulatively in the province based on NASA Modis Fire monitoring in period of 13-19 February.
After being free from haze and fires since September 2013, Riau’s annual problem, haze and wildfires, returns to Riau since the end of January 2014. The increasing hotspots which are found in plantations’ concessions as well as outside concessions which have caused the worsening air quality in the province, as schools closed and thousands people infected by respiratory infections.
Last month’s Riau forest fire catastrophe apparently comes to re-occur in this month. Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) of Pekanbaru recorded a significant increase on the numbers of hotspots detected in Riau Province in the last five days which reached to 230 hotspots.
Sumatra’s Riau province is suffering Indonesia’s worst fire season in recent years with serious smoke choking the region and neighboring Singapore and southern Malaysia. Eyes on the Forest has been tracking forest and land cover change and those who drive it in Riau since the early 1990s.
As rain rarely pours Riau Province many fires hotspots found recently including in timber concessions and protected areas. At least 613 hotspots detected within three weeks in this month as the total of hotspots in the province are 1573.
Several NGOs are calling on the Government to stop granting concessions for conversion and land clearing on peatlands, citing data that shows the major factor inciting this year's forest fires is forest conversion, mainly on peat soil sites.