Firms told to submit digital maps of their plantations

Firms told to submit digital maps of their plantations
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has called three of its Malaysian and two Indonesian member companies reportedly involved in the Indonesian forest fires to submit digital maps of their plantations. The maps would help determine whether the companies had contributed to the forest fires through their negligence.

PETALING JAYA: An international palm oil group wants three of its Malaysian and two Indonesian member companies reportedly involved in Indonesian forest fires to submit digital maps of their plantations within the next 48 hours.

"If the investigations confirm negligent conduct, the RSPO will not hesitate to take action," Webber said.

He listed the Malaysian companies as Tabung Haji Plantations, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Sime Darby and the Indonesian ones as PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa and Sinar Mas.

Webber, however, asked for the people not to speculate on these companies, adding that the RSPO would find out if the five were indeed involved.

He added that satellite imagery on the fires appeared to be "highly prevalent" within peatlands, and that fires there might not have been started in the same area as the flames could travel underground.

The RSPO is a non-profit group that promotes the growth of sustainable palm oil products through standards and stakeholder engagement.

Webber said that once it received the digital maps, the RSPO would assess them against data compiled by the United States-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The statement added that both Sime Darby and Kuala Lumpur Kepong had pledged their full support to the RSPO.

Sime Darby president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said: "I would like to reiterate Sime Darby's commitment and full compliance of the zero burning policy, which is strictly embedded in all our oil palm plantation operations."

Kuala Lumpur Kepong head of sustainability Sin Chuan Eng said it would be making arrangements to submit the digital maps of their plantations to the RSPO and give it the fullest cooperation during the proposed investigations.

Meanwhile, environmental research group World Resources Institute (WRI) said that based on official data, the Indonesian-owned Sinar Mas and Raja Garuda Mas groups owned concession licences where the largest number of fire alerts were found.

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