TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Zenzi Suhadi, a forest campaign manager at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said that Walhi’s data showing 27 companies that were allegedly involved in forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan was based on Wilmar Group’s presentation in Riau on July 2015.
“So, it wasn’t a wild accusation. The data contains the list of subsidiary companies and CPO suppliers introduced by Wilmar that we verified on the field,” Zenzi told Tempo in a telephone conversation on Saturday, October 17, 2015.
According to Zenzi, as one of the largest CPO companies in Indonesia, Wilmar should have been transparent in running its business and verifying its subsidiary companies and suppliers involved in production activities.
Zenzi billed Wilmar’s commitment announced in 2013 that the company would not be involved in land and forest burning. Therefore, Zenzi questioned Wilmar’s commitment when the company denied its involvement with the suppliers as hotspots occurred Riau, Jambi, Central Kalimantan and South Sumatra.
“As a go public company, Wilmar clearly has become a part of the suppliers. Therefore, we declared that Wilmar was involved,” Zenzi added.
Earlier on Friday, October 16, 2015, Wilmar Group commissioner MP Tumanggor said that there was a misunderstanding related to land burning.
“It’s difficult to extinguish fire in peatlands. There is oil under Sumatra’s peatlands, and Kalimantan’s peatlands contain coal. When extinguished by water, the hotspots won’t just dissapear,” Tumanggor said.