The complete ban on burning peatlands, while effective in reducing forest and land fires, may in the long run harm the local agriculture industry.
Zero-burning policy could hurt small-holder farmers. The ban on the use of fire for land clearing has raised the costs to prepare their land for planting and to keep it pest-free.
Avoiding fires in Indonesia’s peatlands should be a common goal of everyone involved.
Antara Foto/Jessica Helena Wuysang/ via REUTERS
Indonesian peatlands are important to many people: farmers, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and conservationists. But preserving this value for everyone will mean listening to everyone's concerns.
A farmer carries cocoa pods at a farm in Agboville, Cote d'Ivoire.
There are rising concerns that rapid deforestation across the Amazon and Southeast Asia could spread to Africa. The continent hasn’t yet seen vast agricultural expansion but it could be on the way.
Forest of Gede Pangrango, Indonesia.
Agriculture and the pulp and paper industries, forestry and mining also contribute.
A bonobo mother and her child.
Primate populations are declining around the world. The great apes are in danger of disappearing, and that bears a great risk for humanity itself.
The region faces some of the world's highest rates of habitat loss, as well as direct over-exploitation of species.
A man stands by seedlings at the Sierra Leone plantation of Lichtenstein-based firm, Socfin.
It's been ten years since "land grabbing" hit the headlines. What has changed?
Sumatra’s tigers are among the species that will benefit from a new land-clearing moratorium in Leuser’s forests.
The Leuser ecosystem in northern Sumatra is home to some of the world's rarest and best-loved animals. Thanks to a new government moratorium on land clearing, conservationists have enjoyed a big win.
An Indonesian oil palm smallholder sells fruit bunches to a trader.
Over the past few years many companies have committed to sustainable palm oil. But that is threatened by a growing alliance between industry and government.
An industrial pulp-wood plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia.
From drought to economic slowdown, 2016 promises a mixed bag for the world's forests.
Drought and deforestation have proved to be a volatile combination in Indonesia.
While Indonesia has taken steps to address the worst forest fires in living memory, a new palm oil alliance with Malaysia threatens to take a giant leap back.
Why do forests fires rage every year in Indonesia? Some people benefit from the business of fire, enjoying profits and economic rents at the expense of environmental quality.
Scientists and policymakers - aware of the extreme dry season of El Nino - have warned of fires in Indonesia months in advance. Why then, do fires continue to blaze and what is being done about it?
A relatively new commercial oil palm plantation on peatland in central Sarawak, Borneo.
The positive story of palm oil that is much less frequently heard, especially in richer countries.
Rainforest cleared for oil palm plantations in Borneo.
How do the products we buy affect the world’s rainforests? In the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit held in Sydney this week, The Conversation is running a series on rainforest commodities…
Where the rainforest meets the plantation: there are probably a lot more insects.
Ryan Woo for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
Palm oil plantations have an overall negative impact on biodiversity, according to research released this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, found palm oil plantations are home to fewer…
Significantly diminished water quality now joins the host of other risks associated with palm oil plantations. Researchers…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival.
Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Sustainable palm oil production should have local consent: often, it doesn’t.
Rainforest Action Network
Businesses, government and civil society met this month in Medan, Indonesia, for the 11th annual Roundtable meeting on sustainable palm oil. While orangutan conservation organisations dominated conversations…
Once majestic low-lying rainforests, Indonesia’s peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year.
One of the world’s major terrestrial carbon pools is rapidly deteriorating as large parts of Indonesia’s peatlands are deforested and converted to oil palm and paper plantations. No longer a carbon sink…
Who’s hands is palm oil really in?
World Bank Photo Collection
What is the value of sustainable palm oil? For some, it is the conservation of tropical forests and wildlife in highly biodiverse regions. For others, it is US$3. That’s the latest price of certificates…