Local laws and regulations banning the clearing and burning of peatlands have sprung up across Indonesia since President Joko Widodo issued a decree on the matter in late 2015.
The president’s order came in response to the annual practice of agricultural burning, particularly during the dry season, which reached crisis proportions in 2014-2015, sparking a regional environmental and public health disaster. Draining and burning peatlands and peat forests to make way for agriculture – including cash crops of oil palm, and pulp and paper – is now banned, with efforts being made to prevent future disasters, as well as restore degraded land.
Research has found that local laws – issued at the provincial, regency or city level – can have even greater impact that national laws in reducing the risk of disaster. A national policy dialogue hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in collaboration with the University of Riau last month brought together more than 300 stakeholders from government, research, business, communities and more to discuss sustainable solutions for a fire-free future.
By Catriona Croft-Cusworth, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News.
This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors. This research was supported by the KNOWFOR program from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).