16 Jul 2013 07:54

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (Bernama) -- The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will now have to determine whether the origin of the fires within 74 hotspots on PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa's concession was a result of systemic failure in managing environmental related risk or otherwise.

The hotspots were detected from June 1 to 26.

RSPO said the matter would now be directed to its complaints panel to deliberate, evaluate and decide upon.

"In the meantime, RSPO urges PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa to act with urgency in addressing the fires that may still be active within their concession," it said in a statement.

It said that on June 24, RSPO requested five of its member companies, which were reportedly implicated in the forest fires in Sumatra, to submit digital maps of their concession areas in Indonesia.

As of July 9, four of them, namely Sime Darby, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Golden Agri Resources and Tabung Haji Plantations had submitted the digital maps required.

The statement said on July 10, PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa submitted its concession information in the required format.

It mentioned that fire alerts within company boundaries were analysed separately by the World Resources Institute and Malaysian scientist Dr Khali Aziz Hamzah from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).

RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from various sectors of the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

Forest fires, which originated from Indonesia, have been blamed for the haze which blanketed the region recently.