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Interannual climate variation, land type and village livelihood effects on fires in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Interannual climate variation, land type and village livelihood effects on fires in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Santika, Truly ORCID: 0000-0002-3125-9467, Budiharta, Sugeng, Law, Elizabeth A., Dennis, Rona A., Dohong, Alue, Struebig, Matthew J., Medrilzam, ., Gunawan, Haris, Meijaard, Erik and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2020) Interannual climate variation, land type and village livelihood effects on fires in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Global Environmental Change, 64:102129. ISSN 0959-3780 (doi:

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The increasing extent and frequency of fires globally requires nuanced understanding of the drivers of large-scale events for improved prevention and mitigation. Yet, the drivers of fires are often poorly understood by various stakeholders in spatially expansive and temporally dynamic landscapes. Further, perceptions about the main cause of fires vary amongst stakeholders, which amplify ongoing challenges from policies being implemented inconsistently across different governance levels. Here, we develop a spatially and temporally-explicit typology of fire prevalence across Kalimantan, Indonesia, a region with significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Based on livelihood information and data on climate, soil type and forest degradation status, we find that in intact forest the density of fires in villages that largely coincide with oil palm concessions was twice as high as in villages outside the concessions across all years. Fires occurring in degraded land on mineral soil across all years were also most prevalent in villages with industrial plantations (oil palm or timber). On the other hand, in degraded peatland, where fires are most intense during dry years induced by the El Niño episodes, occurrence rates were high regardless of village primary livelihoods. Based on these findings we recommend two key priorities for fire mitigation going forward for policy across different governance levels in Kalimantan: degraded peatland as the priority area and industrial plantations as the priority sector. Our study suggests a fire prevention and mitigation approach, which accounts for climate, land type and village livelihood, has the potential to deliver more effective means of management.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: fire typology, industrial plantations, peatland, policy discourse, spatio-temporal analysis, subsistence livelihoods, zero burning
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 09:32
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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