In Indonesia, forest, land and peat fires are overwhelmingly driven by economic forces, as fires are the most cost-effective means of land clearing. Illegal land transactions assist in speeding such processes, with fires an important tool in clearing land to prepare areas for plantation crops as mechanized land clearing exists, but with prohibitive costs.
There are a number of laws, regulations and policies prohibiting the use of fire and the development of plantations on peatlands, but patronage, unclear spatial plans and fragile civil society participation in decision-making hinder their effectiveness.
There is a sense of urgency among governments to address fires on the peatlands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua. This is demonstrated by targets set by President Joko Widodo, and Indonesia’s ratification of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in September 2014. At the same time, the private sector is taking initiative to address fires.
To obtain multi stakeholder perspectives on how the implementation of laws and best practices can reduce fires and haze, CIFOR in collaboration with University of Riau conduct one-day national policy dialogue, to share lesson learned the role of local laws (PERDA) to strengthen national laws, among others.