Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Indonesia names Sinar Mas, APRIL, among eight firms behind Singapore haze

Jessica Cheam in Eco-Business: Indonesia has blamed eight companies, including Singapore-based Sinar Mas and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) for the fires raging across its land of Sumatra that has blanketed parts of Malaysia and parts of Singapore in its most severe haze in history.

Senior presidential aide Kuntoro Mangkusubroto was reported by news wires on Friday saying: “The majority of hotspots in Riau (province) are inside APRIL and Sinar Mas concessions,” The environment minister said not all eight companies were Singapore based, but declined to name the rest of them. He added that investigations are still ongoing and he was not able to elaborate further where these companies are from, although Indonesia is expected to name the companies in the next few days.

Indonesian Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya met his counterpart from Singapore, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in Jakarta on Friday, who handed a letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Dr Balakrishnan had earlier in the week called on Indonesia to name and shame the companies so that commercial pressure can be applied on them to prevent and address the haze.

Some of the world’s major largest palm oil companies such as Singapore-based Wilmar International and Malaysia-based Sime Darby have denied involvement in the burning, although Wilmar has been reported to say it cannot control local practices of slash-and-burn for agricultural and other purposes...

Singapore haze on June 17, 2013, shot by Brian Jeffery Beggerly, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr,  under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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