Pelalawan, Riau, 1 March 2020 – The key to forest and land fire prevention is active participation by all stakeholders, including the government, corporations and the community. Asian Agri consistently aims to raise community awareness about fire prevention by conducting socialisation activities with communities residing in the vicinity of its operational areas.
The Asian Agri Fire Prevention Team recently organised a cycling event in collaboration with the cycling community in Pelalawan Regency in Riau, in a bid to improve fire awareness among the residents in this area.
The event participants cycled together along a route which included stops at the Pangkalan Kerinci Village, Kuala Terusan Village, Rantau Baru Village and Lubuh Ogung Village in Pelalawan.
Along the route, the Asian Agri Fire Prevention Team explained how forest and land fires can rapidly spread along the villages and endanger the residents.
“Besides damaging the environment, forest and land fires are also harmful to babies as smoke contains PM 2.5 (tiny air pollutants) which is poisonous and negatively impact fetal development, posing risks of autism, mental disorders and even cancer in fetuses.
“So this cycling and forest and land fire prevention awareness activity is a positive step in the right direction,” said Dr Didik Spog, who is part of the cycling community in Pangkalan Kerinci.
Hafiz Hazalin Sinaga, Asian Agri Fire Free Village Program Manager, said raising awareness about fire prevention does not have to be in the usual form of a sharing session held indoors, and that it can be done through fun activities such as this cycling event.
“Not only does it help to engage people to take part in preventing fires and become a fire aware community, activities such as cycling is good exercise for the participants,” Hafiz said.
Yunedi, a member of the cycling community, said fire prevention awareness activities are important reminders to the public about the need to be constantly alert about fires, which is especially vital during the dry season.
Asian Agri continues to undertake various efforts to prevent forest and land fires in Indonesia, in line with its own zero-burning policy which has been mandated since 1994.
In 2016, Asian Agri was a founding member of the Fire Free Alliance (FFA). As a member of the FFA, Asian Agri actively implements a Fire Free Village Program with the aim of creating Fire Aware Communities (MPA) who are empowered and well-equipped to monitor and keep their villages free of fire.
About Asian Agri:
Asian Agri is one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers since 1979. Today, the company manages 100,000 hectares of land and employs over 25,000 people. A pioneer of the Indonesian government’s Trans-National Government Migration (PIR-Trans) program, Asian Agri works with 30,000 plasma smallholders in Riau and Jambi who operate 60,000 hectares of palm oil plantations, as well as independent smallholders, bringing about positive impact on their quality of life and economic development.
Implementing a strict “no burn” policy and best practices in sustainable plantation management, Asian Agri has helped its smallholder partners improve productivity, yield and supply chain traceability, while assisting them obtain certifications. The company’s mills are technologically advanced and energy self-sufficient, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
Asian Agri is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). More than 86% of both owned plantations in North Sumatra, Riau & Jambi provinces and 100% of scheme smallholder plantations in Riau & Jambi provinces have been RSPO certified. All plantations, including those owned by smallholders, have been certified by ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification). The company has also been 100% ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil) certified.
The company’s operations are ISO 14001 certified, while its Learning Institute and nursery research center in Riau province, Indonesia are both ISO 9001 certified. Asian Agri’s R&D Center in North Sumatra was also given a certification by the International Plant-Analytical Exchange at the WEPAL lab at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, for its high standards.
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