APRIL Implements Zero Burn Policy
Focuses on Prevention with Local Community
The APRIL fire suppression teams have been very active and successful in containing illegal fires near our concessions in Riau, all of which are reported to the local police.
While most of the fires are currently associated with agriculture burns in Jambi and South Sumatra (Palembang), APRIL continues to operate at the highest level of preparedness given the serious risks of damage to our plantations posed by these fires and the smoke haze that threatens the health of our employees and their families, as well as the broader community.
APRIL recognises that fire is a landscape problem and as a result, coordinates its fire suppression activities closely with the local police, disaster management agency and Indonesia Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s fire teams.
In partnership with the local Pelalawan Police, APRIL has recently trained the first 15 police officers in basic fire fighting. In addition, APRIL has been assisting government disaster relief teams operating on the ground by loaning equipment such as water pumps, hoses and fire fighters.
To date, APRIL has invested more than US$6 million in fire suppression resources, including: two helicopters, two airboats, 39 lookout towers, 215 water pumps, and Rapid Response fire fighter teams. We have also trained and equipped 28 community-based fire prevention and control groups (Masyarakat Peduli Api) of 724 members in five regencies across Riau province.
Beyond fire response and suppression, APRIL sees fire prevention as the long-term solution to the fire and haze problem. In July this year, APRIL officially launched the Fire Free Village Programme – Riau’s first fire prevention plan which seeks to work collaboratively with the community through incentives, support to livelihood, and capacity building.
To date, no fires have been reported in all of the 9 villages that have joined APRIL in this programme.