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Indonesian enforcement questioned as fires flare up on the same concessions

There’s also discrepancy between the number of hotspots in the Greenpeace’s report and the one identified by APRIL. As of the end of August, APRIL had identified 384 hotspots in its concessions, but said 245 of them were confirmed as not being related to fires and only about 30 were confirmed as fires. The Greenpeace report showed there were 483 hotspots as of Sept. 16 in PT Sumatera Riang Lestari’s concession.

But that concession and that of fellow APRIL affiliate PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper are among five that have been sealed off by the environment ministry this year in Sumatra’s Riau province, according to a document obtained by Mongabay.

APRIL said the sealed concessions were those of the burned areas only, both of which were community-related fires, not the entire concessions.

Using remote-sensing technology to derive a figure for burned areas is less than ideal, according to David Gaveau, a landscape researcher at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). However, he said the data could be improved if APRIL were to publish its own burn scar maps.

“If APRIL is questioning the ministry’s data, they should publish their burn scar maps to the public for comparison,” Gaveau told Mongabay. “At the moment APRIL does not share this information so it is impossible to compare and this casts doubts.”