Sunday, 9 August 2009

Malaysian Seeks Help Of Its Oil Palm Planters In Riau To Prevent Haze

August 09, 2009 18:33 PM

PEKAN BARU (RIAU), Aug 9 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has requested the assistance of its three major investors in Riau to enhance their role and cooperation with local authorities in efforts to prevent peat and forest fires to reduce haze.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the three investors, which operate a 180,000 hectare oil palm plantation here, could play an important role by ensuring their plantations were free of any bush or peat fire, and to render immediate assistance if it occurred.

He said they should also continue with the practice of zero burning in their plantations.

"This is a social responsibility which is very much appreciated by the Malaysian government and also the Indonesian government," he said at a dinner with Malaysian oil palm planters here Saturday night.

Unggah Embas is leading a delegation from his ministry for a two-day working visit here, during which he also handed over to the Indonesian government two projects, the air quality monitoring station and canal blocking, meant to prevent fire on peat soil.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Consul in Riau, Zamani Ismail, said the district governor welcomed the assistance provided by the Malaysian government in efforts to extinguish the forest firers in Riau.

"They see the assistance provided by Malaysia as an act which signifies a good friendship and neighhbourliness," he told Bernama.

Last night, Unggah Embas, who was accompanied by Indonesian Minister of Environment, Rahmat Witoelar, visited a Malaysian-aided project in Bagan Siati Api.

Unggah Embas returned to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday morning.