Hilary Benn – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Hilary Benn on 2015-11-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the effects of the recent fires in Indonesia and neighbouring countries; and what steps he he has taken to ascertain whether any UK companies are responsible for those fires.

Mr Philip Hammond

We maintain a regular dialogue with the government of Indonesia, governments of affected neighbouring countries and environmental experts about the fires and their impact. While experts agree the fires are man-made, we are not aware of the involvement of any UK companies. We are working with Indonesian NGOs and the government to help them monitor, prevent and take action on fires, whether they occur on land owned by Indonesian or foreign entities.

The UK’s Forest Land-use And Governance (FLAG) programme in Indonesia is funding longer-term fire prevention work through civil society, private sector and government, focusing on transparency, accountability and spatial planning to resolve the land governance issues that lead to fires.