These are the big companies causing the haze disaster in Indonesia

Koran Opini – October 25, 2015
School children ride through haze from forest fires - Undated (kemkes)
School children ride through haze from forest fires - Undated (kemkes)

KoPi – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), a social organisation concerned with the environment, has released a list of big companies causing the forest and land fires in Indonesia.

The list from Walhi represents the results of an analysis of forest and land fires in regions hit by the haze disaster including Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West and Central Kalimantan.

Walhi national campaign coordinator Edo Rakhman says that the majority of hotspots are in concession lands owned by big companies. “In HTIs [industrial timber estates] 5,669 hotspots, palm oil plantations 9,168”, explained Edo.

Edo showed a list of large companies involved the burning of forests and land. Included on the list are three subsidiary companies in Central Kalimantan belonging to Sinar Mas and 14 belonging to Wilmar International.

In Riau, there are six subsidiary companies owned by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), six by Sinar Mas, six by APRIL, one by Simederby, one by First Resources and one by Provident.

In South Sumatra meanwhile, there are eight subsidiary companies owned by Sinar Mas, 11 owned by Wilmar, four by Sampoerna, three by PTPN, one by Simederby, one by Cargil and three by Marubeni.

The fires in West Kalimantan involve six subsidiary companies belonging to Sinar Mas and six owned by RGM/APRIL. In Jambi Sinar Mas and Wilmar both have two subsidiary companies.

According to the National Space and Aviation Agency (Lapan) website for the period January-September 2015, there were 16,334 hotspots compared with 36,781 in 2014. The forest and land fires are causing people to suffer acute repertory problems with 20,471 cases in Jambi, 15,138 in Central Kalimantan, 28,000 in South Sumatra and 10,010 in West Kalimantan.

According to Airlangga University sociologist Novri Susan, the forest fires and haze disaster is not just some event without a cause, but in fact represents a conflict between people and corporations.

“People must put pressure on the Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] administration to hand down firm sanctions against companies and provide compensation to people who have fallen victim to the haze. If necessary, all [these companies should] be frozen until the haze problem is resolved”.


Palm-oil company Wilmar International is owned by Martua Sitorus listed by Forbes in 2009 as the 2nd richest person in Indonesia. Sinar Mas is owned by former Suharto crony Eka Tjipta Widjaja, who was 2nd on Forbes list in 2012. Indonesian based Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is the world’s third-largest paper producer. Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd or APRIL is a Singapore based pulp and paper company. Palm oil First Resources Ltd is publicly listed in Singapore. Sampoerna, Indonesia’s second largest cigarette producer owned by the politically connected Sampoerna family was sold to US tobacco giant Philip Morris International in 2005. PTPN is the state-owned plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara. Minneapolis-based Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Marubeni Corp is Japan’s fifth-largest trading company.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Inilah daftar perusahaan penyebab musibah asap.]