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Benefits, burdens and solutions to Indonesian Peatland Fires


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Peatland fires have burned annually in Indonesia since the 1990s, and they come with significant costs between multiple stakeholders. There perceptions might help build a bridge to a solution.

Published in: Environment
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Benefits, burdens and solutions to Indonesian Peatland Fires

  1. 1. Benefits, burdens and solutions to Indonesian Peatland Fires Rachel Carmenta, Willy Daeli, David Gaveau, Jacob Phelps, Agus Salim, Aiora Zabala
  2. 2. Globally fires are increasing Annual events Fire weather seasons are extending “If these fire weather changes are coupled with ignition sources and available fuel, they could markedly impact global ecosystems, societies, economies and climate” Jolly et al (2015) Science
  3. 3. Annual peatland fires in Indonesia Since 1990s Aggravated by El Nino events
  4. 4. Potential burdens from peatland fires: the Costs Experienced at multiple scales Different categories of burdens, e.g. Conflict Diplomatic Economic Environmental Food security Health Injustice Risk Quality of life
  5. 5. Potential burdens from peatland fires Experienced at multiple scales, from local to global, e.g. Different categories of burdens are
  6. 6. But fire also has potential benefits: the Drivers Regional Also in different categories and accruing at different scales, e.g. Local Global e.g. commodity supply
  7. 7. Multiple benefits Multiple burdens Multiple scales In such a complex resource management arena, it follows there are multiple stakeholders to consider when seeking solutions. Who are the relevant stakeholders in peatland management?
  8. 8. Agroindustry Singaporean decision-makers Small farmers Hired labourers Local & national decision-makers External Investors multiple stakeholders,also at different scales
  9. 9. A classic “wicked problem” Major governance challenge How to define a solution to such a complex problem? Diversity of benefits, burdens and stakeholders Ecological and climatic determinants Political and sensitive issue Diverse landscape mosaics of different actors and land uses No single solution is likely to be effective Broad consensus on solution pathways will be required Can understanding stakeholders perspectives contribute?
  10. 10. Why do stakeholder perceptions matter? Defining a common solution space requires identifying stakeholder concerns and aspirations Identify points of consensus, contention and coalition Positive synergies identified, inevitable tradeoffs accounted for To avoid the policy-practice gap, generate legitimacy and buy in
  11. 11. Stakeholder perspectives of Indonesian peatland fires Research method Sample Policy relevance Q method Semi-quantitative social science Constructing the “concourse” Ranking of statements on a scale Inclusive Two aspects of peatland governance 1) Benefits and burdens scale of importance 30 statements 2) Solutions scale of effectiveness 40 statements Factor analysis Identifies similar groups of perspectives on aspects of an issue
  12. 12. Stakeholder perspectives of Indonesian peatland fires Research method Sample Policy relevance • Stakeholders: involved in fire management, advocacy and policy across four scales: i) International ii) National iii) Local iv) Farm • Purposive sampling • 12 stakeholder groups • 221 respondents Singapore Singapore policy community (8) Jakarta Jakarta policy community (9) Riau Riau policy community (11) Local public figures (15) Large Mid-level absentee investors (15) Industrial agriculture (32) Large land holders (15) Small Medium Land Holders (34) Small Land Holders (42) Landless Labourers/Share Croppers (15) Disempowered Landless (15) NGO Non-governmental organization (7)
  13. 13. CIFOR study on Stakeholder perspectives of Indonesian peatland fires Research method Sample Policy relevance  Local sites selected to capture full diversity of landscape mosaics (e.g. tenure, fire, land cover, actors)  All within the larger study area affected by 2013-214 fires Map showing three study sites for Q participants in Riau field sites, Bukit Kirikil (1), Petani Kecil (2) and Teluk Makmur (3). Inset shows the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Singapore and Malaysia.
  14. 14. Stakeholder perspectives of Indonesian peatland fires Research method Sample Policy relevance Clarify positions / coalitions Identify contentious issues Identify agreement areas Target and identify what engagement and outreach communications are needed Contributes to an understanding of governance success and failure Serve as a “boundary object” for negotiations
  15. 15. Identifying discourses (“factors”) Factor analysis identifies idealized q-sorts - discourses Identify the distinguishing statements of each factor Interpret the factors and their stakeholder membership Analysis shows you how respondents share similar opinions on statement ranking Marked in bold
  16. 16. Stakeholder perspectives: importance of costs and benefits 1. Costs to companies prioritized • Concern for company damages both economic and reputational • Fire not important for large or small actors for land clearing • Difficulties of defining responsibility and conflicts from erroneous allegations of fire responsibility not important • Concern for negative local impacts on health, economy and transport • Associated with large scale actors 2. Costs to smallholders prioritized • Concerned with negative impacts on smallholders including lost income and unfair allegations • Concerned with the risk of fire disincentivizing agriculture • Doesn’t value the utility of fire for smallholders or traditional practices • Most associated with Riau policy community 3. Smallholder costs and benefits • Values the utility of fire for smallholder practices and agriculture • Concerned with negative impacts of fire for smallholders including through lost income and unfair allegations • Least concern for negative impacts abroad and to agribusiness • Associated with smallholders 4. Local conflict & Impacts abroad • Concerned with negative impacts of fire abroad and globally • Unconcerned with the negative impacts of fire for local and diverse landholders • Concerned with the utility of fire for land clearing by diverse actors and the role of fire in conflicts • Associated with Singapore, Jakarta and Riau policy communities
  17. 17. Stakeholder perspectives: importance of costs and benefits
  18. 18. Stakeholder perspectives: effective solutions 1. Focus on fire fighting Landless, small/medium landholders 2. Hard measures against large actors Indonesian policy communities at national, provincial and local levels 3. Awareness raising Singapore and Jakarta policy communities – most weakly represented by this factor. 4. Hard measures against all actors shared membership 5. Soft measures for improved smallholder agriculture shared membership Five distinct discourses Remember these are perceptions of effectiveness, not measured effectiveness!
  19. 19. Stakeholder perspectives: effectiveness of solutions
  20. 20. We can use information on consensus of burdens to inform powerful language in communication tools for behavioral change Economic losses HealthEnvironment Different stakeholders benefit and lose from fire in different ways
  21. 21. Shared concerns: Improve knowledge on content of the toxic smoke 2015 peat fires produced high concentrations of carbon monoxide. Normal concentrations are 100 parts per billion (ppbv), MOPPIT satellite measured in October 2015 they were >1,300 ppbv
  22. 22. Improved knowledge on health impacts The 2015 peat fires produced unprecedented concentrations of Particulate Matter (soot) in the air. Normal concentrations are 30µg m-3. BMKG measured concentrations >500µg m-3 for two months, and peaks >2000µg m-3 for several weeks Health effects – poorly understood but likely include: - lung cancer - cardiovascular disease - asthma - birth defects.
  23. 23. Perceived as most effective are most controversial, These include - canal use - revoking rouge company licenses Key messages: effective solutions No clear way forward that is agreed by all No agreement on which stakeholders to target with enforcement (e.g. investors, agro-industry, smallholders) No agreement on where responsibility for improving fire management should lie Facilitation and dialogue between stakeholders for integrated landscape management is needed Research on effectiveness of solution options sorely needed
  24. 24. But how about actual effectiveness of solutions? e.g. what role can remote sensing technology play?
  25. 25. (84% on peat) Gaveau et al. in press. Conservation letters Forest Cemetery in Riau: shrubs and wood debris: forest was cleared a few years prior by massive illegal logging Fire for land clearing to expand oil palm agriculture in unproductive areas Identify what burned: fires target idle drained peatlands
  26. 26. Fires also burn standing plantations (84% on peat) Gaveau et al. in reviewOil-palm plantation destroyed by fire in Riau ~25% Fire expands beyond targeted area for land clearing because - peat fires cannot be controlled - grievances over land rights - motivations and incentives Unsustainable expansion; Loss of assets and production Small and large plantation affected.
  27. 27. Fire spread (accidental) beyond intended area of land clearing and multiple motivations (intended) can exist But defining attribution is problematic
  28. 28. Mismatch between policy and practice of landuse Companies operate out concessions >25% of industrial OP plantations Indep. farmers operate in concessions Occupy 98% of concessions (n=163) • Attribution of fire in and out concessions is problematic • Limits monitoring of “no burning policies” with satellites alone
  29. 29. To apply these results to serve as a boundary object in stakeholder dialogue for integrated management Next steps… Actual Effectiveness of fire management initiatives to provide evidence based recommendations for future initiatives Q data to facilitate stakeholder dialogue Actual effectiveness of solutions Determinants of firewise behavior What are the motivations of fire wise behavior at the local level?
  30. 30. Thankyou Rachel Carmenta