Fire Prevention and Management

Our Sustainability Policy commits to Zero Land Burning as per the prevailing laws and regulations as well as RSPO, ISPO and ISCC principles and criteria regarding forest fires.

Fire prevention and management protocols are implemented in each estate corresponding to their level of fire risk. These include trained firefighting and patrol teams, fire look-out towers, remote sensing using satellite data, fire warning signs, readiness of fire-fighting equipment, internal and external communication, and awareness programs before and during the dry season.

We apply an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) system, a fully integrated approach that comprises prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and early detection activities. Because early detection is crucial, we use satellite-based monitoring of fire hotspot activity and conduct our own local monitoring using fire towers and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We are now not only monitoring hotspots but also provide daily, weekly, and monthly fire hotspot prediction reports directly to the estates. Aside from prevention, we also apply a range of mitigation measures to minimize fire risk.

Throughout 2021, the RSPO Fire Watch detected six hotspots, namely one at KAL, one at SMM, and four at GSB. Meanwhile, our own fire monitoring through publicly available hotspot satellite detected nine hotspots with normal confidence and accuracy within our concessions in 2021. One of these incidents occurred at KAL and one at SMM, while the other seven incidents occurred at GSB.  Our field verification at KAL found that the actual location was outside our concession (HGU), in an area of the nearby Laman Satong Village. Our investigation concluded that there were land clearing activities for agriculture by the Laman Satong Village customary community on an area they have occupied without formal land titles.