Jakarta. APRIL Group today announced a Fire Danger Period across all of its owned and supplier concessions in Riau province, Indonesia, from 1 July to 30 September 2022.
The declaration means that the company’s fire operations teams will be on high alert to respond to any hotspots or fire incidents that arise in these areas. APRIL will also increase ground and air patrols to monitor for fire-related incidents and will continue to work with local communities to prevent fires during this period, as part of its integrated approach to fire management across the landscapes in which the company operates.
Since 1993, APRIL has operated a strict ‘No Burn’ policy and continues to adhere to the Indonesian Government’s legal requirement to address the risks posed by fires. APRIL’s integrated approach to reducing the risk of forest fires continues to be based on four key elements: fire prevention, preparation, suppression, and recovery.
APRIL invests significant resources in fire prevention through engagement with local communities. Set up in 2014, APRIL’s Fire Free Village Program (FFVP) is a community-based initiative that is designed to educate and raise awareness about responsible forestry management practices among local villages.
The FFVP covers a total area of 803,684 ha, through cooperation agreements with local communities. In 2021, the program engaged with 215 village communities around APRIL’s concession areas. The FFVP has succeeded in reducing the total area damaged by fires from 4,279 ha in 2013 to 532 ha in 2021 —a drop of more than 87%— in communities that are participating in the program.
APRIL has also invested in state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression technology. The company uses fire detection technologies from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-based systems’ — the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (Modis) — and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitoring technologies.
These satellite hotspot monitoring systems complement the capabilities of APRIL’s fire monitoring towers and closed circuit television camera towers located around the forest plantations.
As a pre-emptive measure, APRIL manages fire incidents up to three kilometers outside of its concessions, in close cooperation with local government authorities.
“Despite the investment we make in fire prevention and suppression, years of experience
shows that the most important thing in preventing fire is a collaboration with all of the stakeholders, including government, village communities, and other concession holders,” said Craig Tribolet, Head of Sustainability Operation, APRIL Group.
“That principle sits at the center of the FFVP and maintaining fire-free landscapes,” he added.
As of 31 December 2021, APRIL has 260 professional firefighters and 39 community-based fire prevention and control groups that can be deployed rapidly to contain and extinguish fires when detected. APRIL also operates a 24-hour Fire Hotline (+62 811 707 2121) to enable people to report on fires occurring around its concession areas.