Indonesian Government to appeal against BMH haze decision

    Indonesian Government to appeal against BMH haze decision

    Dec 31, Jakarta: The government of Indonesia has decided to appeal against the court decision that rejected a $565m lawsuit against PT Bumi Hijau, a plantation company accused of causing forest fires in 2014 and earlier this year.

    The haze from the forest fire had affected livelihoods in the region for several months. However, the court ruling just two days ago stated that there was no clear evidence to prove that the recurring fires were caused by the company.

    According to local media, the government has alleged that BMH failed to prevent recurring fires in 2014 and this year on about 20,000 hectares of land in a region of Sumatra. So, the government is looking into its legal options to hold the private companies responsible for their careless actions that damages the environment and affects the lives of the people living in the region

    The Ministry of Environment stated that the forest and peatland fires, have caused high levels of air pollution in large parts of South East Asia and in the second half of the year, the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, were largely affected by it.

    BMH supplies Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the world's biggest such companies. According to Environmental investigation agency, WRI analysis indicates that the fires in BMH catapulted Ogan Komering Ilir district of south Sumatra province to the top of the fires list on Sumatra island, with 259 having been identified – nearly all in BMH concessions; 70 per cent of hotspots detected across Sumatra island and Peninsular Malaysia during the period have occurred inside pulpwood concessions and 71 per cent on peatland, due almost exclusively to the fires observed in BMH.

    "Ironically, BMH was reported to be working hand-in-glove with district- and provincial-level government, police and military officials to prevent such fires as part of a dedicated fires Task Force in late September. This followed a staggering 364 fire hotspots being detected in BMH’s concession between August and September 15," the report by the agency stated.

    The Oslo Times