Two NGOs take the lead to expose suspect firms

Two NGOs take the lead to expose suspect firms
Villagers sit on their motorcycles as they get ready to leave their homes as a fire burns a palm oil plantation in the Bangko Pusako district in Rokan Hilir, in Indonesia's Riau province June 22, 2013.

Jakarta - Even as government agencies pleaded that they needed on-the-ground checks before naming suspects behind the haze-producing burning, two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) took on the task of mapping satellite images of hot spots onto land concession maps to identify the companies whose lands were burning.



Over the past two days, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Greenpeace have gone public with these names.

Several companies, however, have said the concession maps are partially inaccurate.

The NGOs agree.

Dr Nigel Sizer, director of WRI's Global Forest Initiative, told The Sunday Times that these discrepancies only show the need for all parties to be more transparent on the issue.

"If companies are saying the data is wrong, they should step up and put their maps on the table, and we'd be able to compare the discrepancy," he said.

"If you want to criticise the data, more accurate and updated data has to be available."

Observers say part of the problem is that discrepancies abound in such items as concession maps and permits, so information at the district level may differ from that in Jakarta.



Haze affects Malaysia
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos:, The Star)
For more photos, click here.
Emergency declared in Malaysia as API surpasses 750
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: AFP, Reuters )
Smoke from hotspots blanket Riau province
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: Hang Nadim Meteorological Station, ST, Reuters, AFP, Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment)



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