- PANGKALAN KERINCI, Indonesia, June 20, 2017 (Press Release) -
- APRIL declares ‘Fire Danger Period’ in all its concession areas in the Province of Riau, Indonesia from 1 July to 30 September 2017.
- The Declaration is part of APRIL’s proactive approach to fire prevention and management together with stakeholders.
APRIL Group announced today a ‘Fire Danger Period’ across all its concession areas in Riau Province, Indonesia from 1 July to 30 September 2017. This Declaration is part of APRIL’s integrated landscape approach to fire management, and reflects the company’s commitment to work collaboratively with government agencies, other concession holders and communities’ to not use fire to clear land during the dry season.
“Our key focus is to raise awareness and prevent fires from starting,” said APRIL President Praveen Singhavi, “We consider this strategy more effective than trying to extinguish fires once they’ve started.”
In January, Indonesia President Joko Widodo held a special coordination meeting with all related ministries and law enforcement authorities to ensure early detection, alertness and strict enforcement to perpetrators of fires at fire prone areas in Riau, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and Papua.
The ‘Fire Danger Period’ will serve as an alert to APRIL staff and local communities within Riau, to stay vigilant of fires occurring in surrounding areas, due to a hot and dry weather forecast during the annual dry season. It also signals to local communities that fire restrictions will come into force in APRIL’s managed forest areas. Notice boards, village meetings and other communication tools will be used to inform communities of the Fire Danger Period.
APRIL Strategic Fire and Protection Manager Craig Tribolet said, “Nearly 80% of fires we attended in the past 12 months are related to land preparation by small land holders – we need to work closely with our neighboring communities and law enforcement authorities to ensure we all understand the risks and impact of land and forest fires”.
Fire prevention is a key focus of APRIL’s integrated landscape fire management. Prevention is a critical part of the fire management cycle – it is about stopping the fires before they start.
For this reason, APRIL is leading the community-focused ‘Fire Free Village, Fire Free Landscape’ initiative to develop local communities’ knowledge, capability and resilience in fire management. Under this Program, local communities are provided tools and information aimed at improving their understanding of fire management and increasing access to alternative sustainable farming systems – both of which are critical to making better decisions on land use management and achieving a fire free landscape.
To ensure high levels of preparedness and immediate suppression of all fires on or near APRIL’s concession areas, APRIL will increase ground and air patrols by fire crews and work actively with local communities on fire prevention during the Fire Danger Period. To date, APRIL has invested more than USD6 million in specialized fire teams and firefighting equipment as well as training 600 fire fighters.
APRIL also runs a 24-hour Fire Hotline (+62 811 707 2121) to enable people to report on fires occurring within or near its concession areas.