KUALA LUMPUR - Sime Darby Plantation has launched a hotspot monitoring dashboard in the interest of transparency and to provide insights that could lead to long-term solutions for the recurring haze situation.
"The dashboard is based on the company's real-time monitoring system, which is managed in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
Alerts are immediately communicated to estates, which will then verify if there is indeed a fire and if there is one, it will put it out immediately.
"The system complements the response measures on the ground such as observation towers and regular patrols," managing director Datuk Franki Anthony Dass said in a statement yesterday.
This year, the company detected 17 hotspots, of which 14 had fires. Six of them were outside its concession area.
The dashboard is available on its website at www.simedarby.com.
The company has also been engaging communities in partnership with local authorities and academic institutions to better understand the traditional farming methods, which involve slashing and burning, and to raise awareness of sustainable farming practices.
PT Bhumireksa Nusa Sejati, the company's subsidiary, and the University of Riau have been training communities in sustainable farming practices and educating them on the benefits of zero burning.
As a result, the number of hotspots in the community has fallen to just three from 40 previously.
The company said it pioneered the zero burning replanting technique in 1985 and it was now recognised as an industry standard.
This led to the company winning an award from the United Nations in 1992 for its environmental achievements.