Staying Healthy and Fire-Free: Tambak Village Achieves Sweet Victory in Fire Prevention Despite Pandemic

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Langgam, Riau, 28th January 2021 – Undeterred by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fire Aware Community from Tambak Village continues to steadfastly conduct fire patrols to prevent forest and land fires, while observing safe distancing measures. The village is part of the Asian Agri’s Fire Aware Community, and proudly capped off 2020 as a fire-free village.

Tambak Village’s fire-free efforts are supported by Asian Agri, a member of the multi-stakeholder Fire-Free Alliance, which champions a community-based landscape approach to preventing forest and land fires.

Apart from its successful fire prevention efforts, Tambak Village is also known for its production of kelulut honey. When regularly consumed, it is believed the honey boosts immunity.

Zulkatab, the Crew Leader of Tambak Village said, “We are breeding trigona bees, which are non-stinging bees that produce kelulut honey. We sell most of the honey to the community, even distributing to each member of the Fire Aware Community to boost our immunity while doing our duty to keep our village fire-free.”

“We are very grateful that Tambak Village, Langgam District, Pelalawan Regency, Riau Province, was fire-free in 2020, and hopefully we can maintain that status in 2021,” Zulkatab explained.

As crew leader, Zulkatab oversees members of the Fire Aware Community as they carry out their duties in preventing forest and land fires.

Asian Agri’s Manager for the Fire-Free Village Program (FFVP), Hafiz Hazalin Sinaga, said, “In 2020, all 16 villages under Asian Agri’s Fire-Free Village Program were successful in keeping their villages free of forest and land fires. This is a remarkable result thanks to the collaboration of all stakeholders, including the government, Indonesian National Armed Forces, police, company and also village communities”.

Hafiz added that in spite of Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions and challenges, the efforts to prevent forest and land fires still continued.

“During the pandemic, besides monitoring for fire spots, we also engaged fire fighters and the Fire Aware Communities through an intensive program comprising regular webinar sessions, so that they continued updating their skills and capabilities in preventing forest and land fires. We are hopeful that our partners in the Fire Aware Communities remain committed to this fire-free mission,” Hafiz added.

Guided by its sustainability policy, Asian Agri continues to implement best management practices to create a positive impact on the environment and community.

The community-focused Fire Free Village Program (FFVP) was launched in 2016 to much success and acclaim. With the help and guidance from companies such as Asian Agri, participating villages are socialized, trained and incentivized to maintain a fire-free landscape.

 

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.

For further information, please contact:

Maria Sidabutar
Head Corporate Communications
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DID: +62 21 2301 119