Walhi reports 117 firms

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Environmental Forum (Walhi) has reported 117 companies suspected to be responsible for land and forest fires in Riau Province that had created air pollution exceeding the healthy level.

Manager of Walhi for Legal Advocacy and Policy Muhnur Stayaprabu said here on Wednesday that the Civil Society Coalition had suspected that the fires took place because there was corporation interest behind it.

The Civil Society Coalition is composed of Walhi`s various provincial offices, Palm Oil Watch, Elsam, Legal Aid Institute and ICEL.

He said that the forest fires which took place in a number of provinces in Sumatra, particularly in Riau, had disturbed people`s activities and health. The fires that took place every year should be handled by the local and central government.

In Walhi`s records, forest fires this year involved 117 companies which have to be responsible for the fires in Riau.(*)