EoF News (PEKANBARU)—Eyes on the Forest today published photos from field verification trips on 17, 27 and 28 June 2013 in its Google Earth based online Sumatra database. NASA’s FIRMS MODIS fire locations data recorded 9,236 hotspots in Sumatra between 1 and 28 June. 89% were recorded in Riau province (8,229). Majority of the hotspots were recorded on peat soil, suggesting massive carbon emissions (see our previous news here).
The groundtruthing report following hotspot data detected by Firms Modis by EoF occurred in some concessions of APP and APRIL suppliers as follows:
APRIL supplier PT Sumatera Riang Lestari, Pulau Rupat ; Historical Landsat images for the area where EoF visited showed large-scale natural forest clearance for pulp production from the north and smaller scale messy clearance from the south, meeting just around the three photo locations.
EoF also conducted checking on APRIL supplier PT Rimba Peranap Indah, Tesso Nilo and APRIL supplier PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper Baserah Sector, Tesso Nilo.
APP supplier PT Arara Abadi - Beringin, Senepis Landsat images of 24 May and 25 June suggest some vegetation was cleared in the area where the two photos were taken. The concession is located on very deep peat of more than 4 metres depth. NASA recorded 147 hotspots in this concession between 1 and 28 June. Landsat image of 25 June 2013 show smoke developing in the area very clearly (Map 3).
APP supplier PT Ruas Utama Jaya, Senepis . NASA recorded 140 hotspots in this concession between 1 and 28 June. Landsat image of 25 June and 3 July show thick smokeabove this concession and exposed soil which we see on the photos, respectively.
APP supplier PT Balai Kayang Mandiri, Giam Siak Kecil. NASA recorded 32 hotspots in this concession inside the UNESCO Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Man and Biosphere Reserve between 1 and 28 June. The area EoF investigated has lost natural forest by February 2013. The photos show young acacia trees, some of them burnt.