3 firms linked to 2015 haze under fire again

A photo taken on Sept 23 shows Indonesian firefighters battling a forest fire in Kampar, Riau province.
A photo taken on Sept 23 shows Indonesian firefighters battling a forest fire in Kampar, Riau province.PHOTO: AFP

Three companies being investigated by the National Environment Agency (NEA) over the 2015 haze crisis had large numbers of fire alerts on their pulpwood concessions this year, an analysis published yesterday shows.

The three companies supply wood to Singapore-based Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and are among eight pulpwood concessions with the highest number of fire alerts in Indonesia based on data from Nasa's VIIRS, a satellite-based imagery tool that detects hot spots.

The NEA said the investigation remains open into the three plus another company, also an APP affiliate.

A coalition of non-governmental groups carried out the study, which comes after the worst fire season in Indonesia since 2015. The companies disputed the findings, saying the number of fire alerts did not match reality on the ground.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2019, with the headline '3 firms linked to 2015 haze under fire again'. Subscribe