Forest and land fires occur almost every year in Indonesia, especially during the long El Nino drought which resulted in hundreds or even millions of hectares of land being burned, including oil palm plantations. Therefore, prevention of forest and land fires is very important in controlling fires, which must be carried out continuously.
Controlling forest and land fires has become the task of various stakeholders, starting from the central government, regional governments, TNI/Polri and the community. Community participation is very important given its existence which is directly adjacent to the forest and other fire-prone areas. The lives of the surrounding communities are largely dependent on plantation activities which are closely related to land clearing by burning, which in turn triggers forest and land fires. Guidance and assistance from the government and companies are needed to be able to educate the public regarding forest and land fire control.
In synergy with the government, Asian Agri, which is part of Royal Goden Eagle (RGE) group, also takes preventive efforts to prevent forest and land fires through the Fire Free Village Program (DBA) or Fire Free Village (FFVP). The Fire Free Village Program invites the community to take part in preventing forest and land fires and stay away from unsustainable plantation practices, namely burning land for land clearing.
Asian Agri’s Fire Free Village Program started in 2016, starting with partnering with communities in 7 villages in Riau Province and 2 villages in Jambi Province. The positive results in the first period of the program in reducing hotspots have strengthened the company’s commitment, which is currently partnering with 16 villages in both Riau and Jambi.