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WWF -- 88% of Sumatra fire hotspots in peatlands, ~40% in big pulpwood and oil palm concessions, many linked to Asia Pacific Resources Intl Ltd [APRIL] and Asia Pulp and Paper [APP]

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  • Robert Ho
    WWF: Hotspot analysis fingers pulp & palm oil industries [image:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2013
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      WWF: Hotspot analysis fingers pulp & palm oil industries

      Conservation group World Wide Fund (WWF) has renewed calls for zero-burn policies to be enacted and enforced, as satellite hotspot analysis showed that 89% of the fire hotspots occured in the Riau Province in Sumatra.

      The fires have caused one of the worst haze pollution in Singapore and Malaysia since 1997.

      The WWF call comes as latest analysis of NASA satellite information linked hotspots to concession areas. Of the more than 9000 hotspots in Sumatra spotted by NASA satellite [Link] between 1 and 24 Jun, 89% or 8,055 hotspots were in the province of Riau, whose Governor was arrested by the Indonesian Corruption Commission recently.

      Nearly 40% of the hotspots overlapped with large scale pulpwood concessions or oil palm plantations, said WWF in statement on 27 Jun.

      WWF noted that concession holders have legal responsibilities over concessions but it does not necessarily follow that the companies are responsible for lighting the fires.

      “With this data in hand, WWF stands ready to help governments and agencies across the region”, said Ms Elaine Tan, CEO, WWF-Singapore, “Fires in Riau are a global issue that affects us all due to serious carbon emissions they cause.”

      Fully 88% of hotspots were in peatland, where fires can trigger huge emissions of carbon.

      In Riau province, the most recent analysis shows 30% of the hotspots overlapping with pulpwood concessions, 1,075 linked to Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL) and its suppliers and 1,027 on concessions linked to Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

      Some 9% (696) of Riau’s hotspots showed within well managed large scale oil palm plantations.

      The devastating scale and impact of the recent fires has prompted WWF to renew the call to fully implement and enforce “Zero Burning” – a set of prescriptions that restricts the use of fire for land clearing or replanting of industrial tree crops. Instead of fire, heavy machines are used to crush, chip, pile or bury plant residues. WWF calls for pulp and palm oil industries to stop the use of fire in their own concessions and to control any fires that come onto their land.

      WWF said further field investigations are needed to quantify the major causes of fires outside known pulpwood concessions and oil palm plantations. WWF suspects some of them are related to non-corporate oil palm plantation development as “available” lands in the Riau have often been used to produce palm oil fruit to sell to large companies like the case of Tesso Nilo. WWF calls for palm oil companies to take responsibility for the full supply chain of palm oil and ensure that fruit or processed oil bought from third-party providers are not fueling the haze.


      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Robert Ho <robert.ic019@...>
      Date: 26 June 2013 16:21

      Subject: Idea: Sumatra peat and forest fires -- Perimeter Trenches to demarcate legal responsibility, Grid Trenches as cheap, permanent firebreaks

      New texts in RED:

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Robert Ho <robert.ic019@...>
      Date: 24 June 2013 12:19

      Subject: Idea: Sumatra forest fires -- Perimeter Trenches to demarcate legal responsibility, Grid Trenches as cheap, permanent firebreaks

      RH:
      A.  Firebreaks [click] is probably one of the oldest and most effective fire containment methods for forest fires.  Usually, when a fire breaks out, firefighters will go downwind from the raging forest fire and cut down a swathe of trees so that when the fire reaches this firebreak, there are no more trees to burn and so the fire dies out and stops.  Since the forest fires in Sumatra are annual [which suggests man-made and not Nature, especially when they usually occur in the same months every year], we can do better, meaning that we create PERMANENT firebreaks BEFORE any fire starts.

      B.  We know which companies are responsible for which forest fires, meaning that it is easy to impose a rule [and check that it is satisfactorily implemented], that every concession area be criss-crossed with permanent firebreaks, in the form of permanent deep trenches, each cell being no more than about, say, 1 sq km in area [the optimum size of this area needs to be refined by more qualified experts].  Thus, if this cell is on fire, it will only burn for the 1 sq km area before it is stopped by the deep trenches.  We have to hope and ensure that not all the cells are on fire at the same time, which will thereby cause the same crises as now.  However, with the Perimeter Trench idea, every single concession area will be visible from satellite or aerial photos, so blame and sanctions can be easily and accurately imposed on the guilty party or parties.  Smallholders also use Slash & Burn methods and the Sumatra authorities may have to regularise these smallholders, maybe even to pre-dig trenches for them for free or at subsidised prices.  Bulldozers can be lent or rented out to these smallholders and they can be trained how to use them.

      C.  The trenches have to be deep enough to dig well below any peat formations [peat is the main fuel in causing this international haze crisis, not so much the above-ground trees and vegetation] because PEAT CAN CONTINUE BURNING UNDERGROUND AND IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT OUT].  Thus, when peat burns, it continues burning and producing smoke, and ignites and sets on fire, the trees and vegetation it comes across, thus acting as the main spreader of fire and smoke.  So, the trenches must be deep enough to dig past below any peat formations.

      D.  The trenches can be left as dug earth trenches, or better still, be plastered with a waterproof layer like cheap clay, cement, etc, so as to make trenches that can hold and collect rainwater, which would then form a better firebreak as well as the multitude of uses that water provides, [the water needs to be treated to prevent mosquito breedings], including irrigation, firefighting, etc.

      E.  For normal operations of the plantations and concession areas, roads or paths need to cross over these deep trenches and these should be made of fireproof materials, like metal bridges or concrete roads over the trenches, etc.

      F.  This idea is cheap and the trenches can be dug any time, using a few dozen bulldozers.  Every concession area should have trenches ALL AROUND its concession area, at the perimeter, so as to prevent one concession area burning into another company's concession area, which would muddy the legal responsibility for starting or controlling fires by each company, within each concession area.  These Perimeter Trenches would also form a clear boundary of each concession area and may even be visible by satellite or aerial photos [maybe even Google Earth], which would further enhance responsibility and pinpoint which company and which concession area is responsible for which fire.  This boundary demarcation by trenches will thus be important for any legal or administrative action for haze-causing fires, since there are currently disputes over the accuracy of various concession area maps.  For even cheaper digging of trenches, explosives can be used.  Thus, a string of explosives would blast out holes along the trench line, which the bulldozers can then regularise into proper trenches.  Indeed, if the trench lines cross rock formations, then explosives have to used anyway.  This use of explosives to dig will cut the costs of trenching by probably a third to a half.  Of course, the explosives will have to be carefully guarded and counted to ensure nobody steals them for criminal uses.

      G.  Thus, every concession area, whether fully or partially planted with oil palm or other crops, or virgin forest, must have a Perimeter Trench to mark its boundaries [and thus legal responsibility] and be criss-crossed with grid trenches, wide and deep enough to make effective permanent firebreaks, deeper than the peat layer, if any, the size of each grid cell to be determined by the Indonesian Govt experts.  Hopefully, after this, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Robert Ho <robert.ic019@...>
      Date: 17 June 2013 09:03

      Subject: Possible solutions to Indonesia's peat and forest fires haze over the region

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Robert HO <robert.ic019@...>
      Date: 18 October 2006 23:14

      Subject: Possible commercial solution to Indonesia's peat and forest fires haze over the region

      RH:  Since much of the smoke from Indonesia 'forest fires' actually comes from peat [click], why not get the expertise of peat companies like the Irish Bord na Mona and the Finnish Vapo TO REMOVE THE PEAT AS COMMERCIAL FUEL TO SELL TO INDONESIANS AS A CHEAP FUEL. THIS WILL HELP FUND THE REMOVAL OF PEAT, WHICH IS WHAT IS CAUSING THE SMOKE OVER THE REGION.

      True, burning the peat fuel will produce much CO2 but it can be argued that the peat is already burning anyway, so controlled burning as fuel, at least, gives a controlled process and a useful fuel than the peat just burning away producing haze over the region. 

      For more on the 2 companies, click the links below:

      Irish [Ireland]    Bord na Móna

      Finnish [Finland] state-owned company VAPO is the world leader in peat production with 21.7 million cubic meters in 2003.[7]

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Robert HO <robert.ic019@...>
      Date: 29 September 2007 14:33

      Subject: Fwd: Idea: How to fight Indonesia forest fires with stored/channelled water depots

      Date:Fri, 3 Jun 2005 11:30:15 +0800 (CST)
      From:"Robert HO" < ic019@...>   View Contact Details  View Contact Details
      Subject:To His Excellency The Ambassador, this suggestion to control forest fires in Indonesia
      To:"The Ambassador" <'info@... >
      Dear Mr Ambassador,

      1. A few years ago, forest fires in Sumatra and other
      parts of Indonesia caused thick, dense smoke over some
      parts of Southeast Asia including Indonesia itself.
      2. These were mainly caused by farmers practising
      Slash and Burn methods to create farmlands.

      3. Since laws banning such burning of the forests
      are very difficult to enforce, why not regulate this practice instead of banning it?

      4. That is, your Government allows some burning of
      the forests, but only during times suggested by the
      Government and only in areas suggested by the
      Government.
      5. The way to do this is to improve weather
      forecasting over Indonesia so accurately that the
      Government can predict when heavy rains will fall over
      certain areas. Preferably, for 2 or more days
      consecutively of sufficient volume centimetres of rain to ensure total dousing of the fires. Then inform the
      farmers when and where burning would be allowed or
      tolerated.

      6. This way, the farmers will be able to continue
      with their traditional ways of slash and burn crop cultivation while minimising any conflagrations that
      may result when such fires burn out of control.

      7. Weather prediction is now quite advanced and it is
      possible to accurately predict rains over certain areas. About 7-5 days before the rains, the farmers
      can be warned to get ready for burning and the broad
      areas indicated. This week or so of warning is
      probably enough for them to prepare their men and
      equipment, and to scout and earmark the areas they
      want to burn, etc. Then, about 3-2 days before the
      rains, when the rain predictions are pretty accurate,
      the farmers can be told the specific areas they can
      burn. Probably through the Internet, Radio, Television
      and the nearest Police Stations or Forestry Offices.
      Thus, there will be a day or two of burning after
      which the rains will arrive to douse the fires.

      8. This whole Idea is quite speculative and will need
      very careful study and some trials and experimentation
      but if it works, it will blaze a trail for other countries.
      ///////////////////////////////////////////////////// 

      RH:

      1.  My idea above of 3 Jun 05 is probably difficult to implement because it would entail the legitimisation of the Slash and Burn forest clearing method when there are already strict, if un-enforceable, laws banning such methods. Thus, by letting farmers slash and burn, even if controlled, would essentially mean the law would have to be amended for such, and this is probably unwise or difficult. The fires allowed could easily burn out of hand, with consequences to the Indonesian govt and the officials in charge. 

      2.  This thus calls for Plan B. Since the main difficulty of current fire fighting methods is the lack of water NEAR the fires, and fire engines can only carry a modest amount of water in their tanks, why not, beforehand, before the fires start, build large water depots to store water expressly for the purpose of fighting the fires when they do occur, which is an annual affair, I believe. 

      3.  The areas usually burned in slash and burn methods are all quite readily identifiable because this has been going on for decades and there are records of the hotspots, which are also identified in aerial and satellite photos as well. So identifying the potential hotspots for the next fires is not difficult. 

      4.  Then, at strategic locations, build large water tanks to store fire-fighting water. These can be cheap, cement and brick/mud tanks, probably open topped to catch rainwater. With a layer of mosquito-killing surfactant to prevent mosquito breeding. Or simply and cheaply salted to prevent mosquito breeding. 

      5.  In fact, such saline water can be seawater, if the locations are near the coasts. Seawater is just as good as potable water to fight fires. Even sewerage water from sewage treatment tanks, can also be used and we in Singapore actually drink sewage water, thanks to the wisdom of our govt. 

      6.  Further from the seacoasts, river water and pond waters can be used. Even reservoir water.

      7.  There is a relationship in this. Since the slashing and burning occur only near human habitation, and not in remote jungles unpeopled with human communities, and since people must live near water, thus, there will always be a source of water near the slash and burn fires. Thus, storing such pre-prepared water in cheaply and easily built tanks is feasible. 

      8.  Slightly more expensive than water tanks, we could dig irrigation canals that can be used for irrigation as well as firefighting. Thus, these canals would crisscross the fire zones to provide ready water when the fires break out. 

      9.  This idea presupposes, not unreasonably, that close by waters is the most important factor in fighting the fires. This is because diesel-powered water pumps are cheap and easily ported to the fires to pump the water from the tanks to douse the fires. During non-fire times, these diesel pumps can also be used for irrigation. So a series of stored water tanks and diesel pumps can dot the entire fire zones in readiness for use when the fires burn out of control. Technically, there is nothing difficult to build mud tanks or to operate diesel pumps. 

      10.  Thus, all that remains is to carry out trials and tests to determine the optimum size and composition of the cement tanks, the size and power of the diesel pumps, the best methods and procedures to ensure that the water tanks are always full of water and the operators know how and what to do when fires break out. 

      11.  The diesel pumps in the non-fires season can be used to pump water INTO the tanks. This would involve some work in laying the hoses from the reservoir, rivers or ponds to the tanks but again, is not difficult. This could be a permanent installation to keep the tanks full all the time. Where the water is clean enough, it can even be used for washing purposes as in any human community. 

      12.  Finally, this Plan B allows Indonesia's neighbours to do something other than apply diplomatic pressure alone. For example, Singapore can offer to fund the materials, building and maintenance of tanks in the fire zones CLOSEST TO SINGAPORE where the fires send smoke and haze over Singapore. This is easily established by past satellite photos. Thus, Singapore would not be paying to solve the entire Indonesia fires, only paying for those fire locations THAT DIRECTLY PRODUCE THE SMOKE OVER SINGAPORE. 

      13.  Similarly, Malaysia can pay for those parts that affect it and this would include both Sumatra and Borneo. Thus, this idea produces an Action Plan instead of just diplomatic wrangling and blaming. Indonesia, of course, would have overall responsibility for the entire Plan. In this way, ASEAN would solve its problem together instead of isolating each other by finger pointing recriminations. 

      Robert HO
      9 Oct 06 1423
      Singapore

      -- 
      RH:   MY ACQUAINTANCE, A FORMER POLICE INSPECTOR, AND HIS LAWYER FRIEND, EYEWITNESSED LEE KUAN YEW RIGGING THE 1997 CHENG SAN GRC ELECTION.  READ MORE AT MY BLOG ENTITLED "I CAME, I SAW, I SOLVED IT" : 

      http://i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/

      [ALSO AT THE ABOVE BLOG, LIE KUAN YEW's LIES, WRONGFUL JAILING, TORTURE AND BEATING TO DEATH OF INNOCENT POLITICAL PRISONERS] 

      READ ALSO MARTYN SEE's INTERVIEW WITH ME AT:

      http://singaporerebel.blogspot.com/

      MY ARCHIVE OF WORKS AT:

      http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/

      --
      >>>>>>>>>>  TO HELP ME, COMPLETE THESE STATEMENTS, THANKS:  http://roberthorequestforstatements.blogspot.com/

      My wife, an accountant, then a manager in an MNC drawing a 5-figure salary before she retired, can confirm that I write the Truth in all these.  <<<<<<<<<<

      RH:   LKY LHL WKS ELECTION RIGGINGS EMAILED TO ALMOST ENTIRE GOVT:
      http://i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/2010/06/lky-lhl-wks-election-riggings-emailed.html

      ME ON VIDEO DESCRIBING lky lhl wks NUMEROUS ELECTION RIGGINGS + PoBoB and CCTV Ideas:
      http://i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/search/label/%22A%20Video%20RH%20on%20LKY%20LHL%20WKS%20cheating%20elections%20%2B%20PoBoB%20and%20CCTV%20Ideas%22

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQCab3QZbBk

      MY ACQUAINTANCE, MR DAVID DUCLOS, A FORMER POLICE INSPECTOR, AND HIS LAWYER FRIEND, EYEWITNESSED LEE KUAN YEW RIGGING THE 1997 CHENG SAN GRC ELECTION.  READ MORE AT MY BLOG ENTITLED "I CAME, I SAW, I SOLVED IT" : 

      b.  SWORN EXHIBIT IN SUPPORT OF AFFIDAVIT:

      c.  SOME LEGAL PRINCIPLES ON WHICH I GROUND MY CASE:

      d.  THE PATTERN OF CRIMINAL WRONGDOINGS THAT PROVES MY CASE;

      e.  3rd EMAIL TO UK PM FOR OBSTRUCTING, PERVERTING JUSTICE:

      LEE Kuan Yew, LEE Hsien Loong, Tony TAN, HO Ching corruptions and theft of billions:

      "POWERFUL POLITICIANS WHO CANNOT CREATE, INVENT, SOLVE PROBLEMS AND CHANGE THE WORLD CAN ONLY TAKE SATISFACTION BLOCKING, DEGRADING, THOSE WHO CAN."
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