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  • KADIN and SBF support the efforts by both Governments to alleviate the haze problem and galvanise stakeholders for Good Agricultural Practices

KADIN and SBF support the efforts by both Governments to alleviate the haze problem and galvanise stakeholders for Good Agricultural Practices

• Exhort member companies and the wider business community involved in agriculture in Indonesia to ensure that their activities are not contributing to forest fires

• Encourage business community to embrace global industry standards on sustainable agricultural practices

[07 October 2015] Singapore –
Singapore and several cities in Indonesia and Malaysia are experiencing dense haze caused by illegal forest fires from Sumatra and Kalimantan. The livelihood and well-being of the people in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were affected by high levels of PSI (Pollutant Standard Index) in Singapore (PSI >300) and in Indonesia (Kalimantan PSI >2000). Businesses lost millions of dollars in business activities, workforce productivity is reduced and their health expenses are higher.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KADIN) and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) acknowledge and appreciate the efforts by the Indonesian government in tackling the haze. KADIN and SBF also noted the Singapore government’s offer of assistance and to investigate Singapore based companies that may have been involved in illegal burning in Indonesia.

As the haze is affecting the health of many Singaporeans and Indonesians, SBF and KADIN urge their member companies to ensure that the safety and the well-being of their workers remain a key priority. In addition, companies should work closely and collectively with both governments to extinguish the fires and expose those who may be involved in illegal burning.

To support good agricultural practices, SBF and KADIN also advise member companies and the wider business community to adhere to and embrace global industry standards on sustainable agricultural practices. They are encouraged to certify all their plantations according to global industry standards such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) or Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) for palm oil cultivation, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for responsible managed forests and the SVLK (Timber Legality Verification System) and the PHPL for the pulp and paper value chain.

In addition, both apex chambers urge companies to commit to “green” their supply chain by buying only sustainable products and adopt green procurement practices.

KADIN Chairman Bapak Suryo Bambang Sulisto commented “I view the haze issue as a serious problem which must be solved in a responsible manner by all stakeholders, especially shareholders and financial stakeholders such as lenders and investors who benefit most from the higher financial returns. KADIN, together with SBF, will play their parts to engender cooperation among all stakeholders and in implementing pilot projects using Good Agriculture Practices in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra and West Kalimantan Provinces. I sincerely hope that the influential stakeholders will unreservedly and sincerely play their parts in solving this serious problem. We solely rely on their practical actions for meaningful solutions to the current horrific haze challenge. Without the "first step" taken by the companies and financial stakeholders, the efforts by SBF and KADIN may not have the required traction. I shall thank them in advance for their "first step", support and commitment."

SBF Chairman Mr SS Teo said “The business community applauds the strong commitment and action by both Governments to tackle the haze issue on the ground, through the active collaborations with all stakeholders in the supply chain and through the legal framework.

Dealing with the haze issue requires the concerted action of all stakeholders including governments, local authorities, businesses, farmers, NGOs and consumers. Our member companies understand that it is in our common interest to promote Good Agriculture Practices as an effective means to alleviate trans-boundary haze.”

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