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LANDSCAPE FIRES

IN INDONESIA

POLICY SUGGESTIONS TO ENHANCE THE ROLE


OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS A CHANGE AGENT

LANDSCAPE FIRES
IN INDONESIA

POLICY SUGGESTIONS TO ENHANCE THE ROLE


OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS A CHANGE AGENT
A Report Commissioned by the
Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore
September 2016

Marina Garcia Valls and Muhammad Nasir Khan


Policy Analysis Exercise
Master in Public Policy
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore

Landscape fires in Indonesia 2

FORE WORD

ACK NOWLEDGEMENTS

Do not call it haze. In fact, landscape fires at such scale


and prolonged period produce toxic air pollution that
severely affects the health of millions of people, impacts
productivity and destroys ecosystem services that
businesses rely upon.

This paper provides a thorough analysis of the multilayer problem and offers five policy options that are
practical, some based on existing practice, and
scalable. For once, it draws on primary sources from
field trips and interviews.

Some call its annual recurrence the new normal. I


strongly disagree with this defeatist and passive view that
only reaffirms the status quo. Such heavy air pollution is
man-made and avoidable.

I am convinced that market forces, coupled with sound


- and enforced - private and public sector policies can
produce 12 months/year of clean air to everyone while
ensuring economic growth, livelihoods and ecosystem
services preservation.

Of course, nobody disputes the need to feed an ever


growing population, the legitimate right for development,
the importance of the agricultural sector to Indonesias
economy and the number of jobs and livelihoods it
provides.

We are glad if this paper can contribute to this goal as it


is for the benefit of people, business and institutions in
the region to develop in a responsible manner.

But HOW we exploit these resources for growth is highly


questionable. Slashing and burning land at such scale is
simply no longer acceptable in our modern society.

Constant Van Aerschot

We do not need more research, as we know what to do.


We need trust and will to actually change and enforce
laws, provide alternative livelihoods to farmers, push
for more collaboration amongst value chain actors, and
increase transparency.

Executive Director
Business Council for Sustainable Development
Singapore

We would like to extend our profound gratitude and sincere appreciation


to our faculty advisor Assistant Professor Naomi Aoki from the Lee Kuan
Yew School of Public Policy, and to Constant Van Aerschot, Executive
Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore,
for all the ideas, guidance and feedback provided throughout the
development of the Policy Analysis Exercise, helping to bring this project
to fruition.
We would also like to thank the representatives of private companies,
nonprofit organizations, think tanks and other entities that have kindly
contributed to this research work as respondents and guides during
our field trips to Indonesia. This accomplishment would not have been
possible without them.
Marina and Nasir

LIST OF TABLES
AND FIGURES

CONTENTS
1

INTRODUCTION

CONTEXT AND PROBLEM


IDENTIFICATION

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

13

Relentless fires, far-reaching


impact
Unclear diagnosis

Research question and


objectives
The business case for fire
reduction

ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK

PROBLEM MAPPING

STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS

Underlying pressures: Agriculture


in Indonesias macroeconomic
context
Underlying pressures: Climate
and ecology issues
Fire as a tool for agriculture
Fire as a tool for land disputes
Accidental fires

Stakeholder identification
Stakeholder matrix

17

19

POLICY ANALYSIS

CONCLUSIONS

29

Attempted solutions
Proposed policy options
Final policy

37

6
25

9
ANNEX AND REFERENCES

39

Research methodology
Survey results
Interviews
References

Table 1 Multidimensional Impact of Landscape Fires page 11


Table 2 Landscape Fires Toll page 11
Table 3 Summary of Direct Causes and Contextual Triggers of Landscape Fires page 24
Table 4 Primary Stakeholders in Landscape Fires page 26
Table 5 Indirect Stakeholders in Landscape Fires page 26
Table 6 Stakeholders Attitudes toward Fire Reduction page 27
Table 7 Assessment Criteria page 32
Table 8 Summary of the Policy Options Assessed page 35
Table 9 Survey Response Frequency Distribution page 47
Table 10 Stakeholder Groups Suggestions for Fire Reduction page 48
Table 11 Classification of Interviewees in Stakeholder Groups page 48
Figure 1 Annual Fire Hotspot Count, 1997-2015 page 10
Figure 2 Framework for Structural and Stakeholder Analysis page 18
Figure 3 Causal Chain Analysis of Landscape Fires page 20
Figure 4 Relative Distribution of Stakeholders Interest and Power page 28

7 Landscape fires in Indonesia


Landscape fires in Indonesia 6

Introduction

1
7 Landscape fires in Indonesia

9 Landscape fires in Indonesia


Landscape fires in Indonesia 8

Large-scale, human-induced
landscape fires1 in Indonesia have
been making headlines since the
early 1980s.2 The impact of these
fires is noticeable at the domestic,
regional and global spheres in the
form of deforestation, transboundary
haze pollution, greenhouse gas
emissions, and so forth. The
Indonesian government, along with
its ASEAN counterparts, international
development partners, (I)NGOs,
private sector entities and civil society
groups have taken several steps over
the past decades to counter this
long-lasting issue. Despite all efforts,
the problem still persists and currently
stands as one of the key challenges
to environmental governance
and sustainable development in
Southeast Asia.
This report aims to analyze the
multidimensional scope and
dynamics of landscape fires while
providing policy options for the
private sector to successfully
become a game changer in this
complex situation. The boundaries
and structure of the landscape fire
issue in Indonesia are not clearly
specified, and a lack of public
consensus prevails regarding its root
causes and main actors involved. In
fact, landscape fires display many
of the characteristics of a wicked
problem, commonly described as
an unstructured web of interrelated
sub-problems occurring in multiple
dimensions (environmental, social,
political, moral domain).3 Every

The term "landscape fires" broadly


encompasses those fires taking place in
forested areas as well as those occurring in
other settings, such as cultivated, degraded
or abandoned land.

wicked problem is a unique reality for


which countless potential solutions
exist, all of them stemming from
different problem interpretations.
Against this backdrop, the objective
of this document is to map out
the key features of the landscape
fire issue using a systems-view
approach, as a first step to taming
wickedness.
The data used in this report to
analyze the problem, design and
evaluate policy alternatives have been
sourced from available literature on
landscape fires, two field trips to Riau
province as well as multiple interviews
with key stakeholders on the ground.
The first field trip was conducted
in August 2015 with the aim of
collecting primary data from public
and nonprofit sector representatives
through personal interviews and
a standardized questionnaire. The
second field in February 2016
trip focused on the private sector
participation in the adoption of 0
burning policies. It included a visit to
the plantation site and processing mill
of a large paper and pulp company.
In addition to these site visits, a series
of interviews with key stakeholders
from private sector entities and civil
society organizations operating in
Indonesia took place on different
occasions from July 2015 to March
2016.

This report was commissioned by


the Business Council for Sustainable
Development Singapore (BCSD
Singapore) as part of the Policy
Analysis Exercise (PAE), the capstone
project of the Master in Public Policy
from the Lee Kuan Yew School of
Public Policy. The BCSD Singapore
is a business association established
in 2013 and recognized by the World
Business Council for Sustainable
Development (WBCSD) as its partner
in Singapore. Its mission is to provide
business leadership as a catalyst
for change towards sustainable
development, and to support the
business licence to operate, innovate
and grow in a world increasingly
shaped by sustainable development
issues. In order to pursue these
goals, the organization seeks to
exert influence in policy development
with the aim of creating the right
framework conditions for business
to make an effective contribution
towards sustainable development,
particularly in the context of
Southeast Asia.

Contex t and
Problem
Identification

2
2

Dennis, R. (1999)

Rittell, H. and Webber, M. (1973);


Conklin, J. (2005)

9 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 10

11 Landscape fires in Indonesia

RELENTLESS FIRES, FAR-REACHING IMPACT


Anthropogenic landscape fires are
not a new phenomenon in Indonesia,
with archaeological evidence
recording their occurrence since
thousands of years ago.4 However,
their prevalence and severity has
intensified in modern times5 hand
in hand with the expansion of the
agricultural sector. Slash and burn, a
land clearing technique that employs
fire to develop land for cultivation, is
usually cited as one of the factors
behind the problem, together with the
use of fire in land disputes.
The East Kalimantan fires of 1982
and 1983 represent the foundational
episode of the current trend, followed
by the notorious 1997-1998 season,
which drew significant international
attention for the firs time.6 According

to some initial accounts, 2015 was


the worst year for landscape fires
since then.7 Between these pivotal
moments, fires kept striking at
different intensities throughout the
Indonesian territory.
It is difficult to determine with
precision the frequency and
magnitude of landscape fires, in
part due to their vast geographical
spread as well as to the limitations
of available monitoring technologies,
which largely rely on satellite imagery.
Ground checks are often needed
to confirm the occurrence of fires.8
Notwithstanding these constraints,
historical data on fire hotspots are
commonly accepted as a proxy for
actual fire activity. These data confirm
an irregular trend in fire behavior with

no signs of a decreasing incidence


rate, coupled with a periodic return
of peak years, when active fire
detections suddenly spike (see Figure
1).
The devastating effects of landscape
fires are observed within and
beyond Indonesian borders in
multiple ways (see Table 1). From
an environmental perspective, fires
are linked to deforestation9 in a
complex retro-causal loop.10 They
generate a huge loss of biodiversity
by destroying local ecosystems11
and critically threatening endangered
wild species.12 In addition, they are
responsible for massive greenhouse
gas emissions which contribute to
global warming. In 2015 alone, due

FIGURE 1: ANNUAL FIRE HOTSPOT COUNT, 1997-201513

to fire activity, Indonesia overtook the


US as the largest CO2 emitter on a
daily basis14 and surpassed Japan
in total annual emissions volume.15
Furthermore, landscape fires result
in airborne particulate matter that
is dispersed over long distances,
affecting not just Indonesias air
quality but also that of its closest
neighbors and more distant ASEAN
member states.
Fires are associated with direct
costs and indirect losses to several
economic sectors, including forestry,
agriculture, healthcare, transportation,
trade, tourism and education. At the
same time, they generate international
political tension and undermine the
credibility of the Indonesian state
by repeatedly creating an image of
vulnerability and lack of capacity to
bring the problem under control.
Overall, it is estimated that the 19971998 fire episode cost Indonesia
well over $9 billion,16 whereas the
economic burden of the 2015
season was assessed at around
$16 billion according to preliminary
calculations.17 This figure is equivalent
to 1.9% of Indonesias GDP.18 Other
countries, such as Singapore,
also suffer losses from periodic
transboundary haze. For example,
in 1997, the damage to health and
tourism sectors stood at $286 million
(see Table 2).

TABLE 1: MULTIDIMENSIONAL IMPACT OF LANDSCAPE FIRES


DIMENSION

EFFECTS

Environment & Climate

Deforestation; Loss of biodiversity and destruction of


ecosystems; Transboundary haze pollution; Climate
change

Economics

Externality cost borne by states and societies at


large, including fire fighting and healthcare; Losses
in agricultural production, forestry resources,
transportation, tourism and education

Politics

Image of government failure; International diplomatic


tension

TABLE 2: LANDSCAPE FIRES TOLL 19


YEAR

# HOTSPOTS

AREA
BURNED

COST TO
INDONESIA

COST TO
THIRD PARTIES

1982-1983

N/A

5 million ha
(Borneo)

$9,054
million (East
Kalimantan)

N/A

1997-1998

+ 100,000

9.5 million ha

$9,298 million

$286 million
(Singapore)

2015-2016

+ 120,000

2.6 million ha

$16,100 million

N/A

UNCLEAR DIAGNOSIS
Landscape fires display a complex
problem architecture given the
existence of numerous and diverse
causes, enhancing factors and
interrelated issues. Agricultural
practices, macroeconomic factors,
legal frameworks, political constraints,
and other determinants come into
play in the formulation of hypotheses
about the root causes and factors
impeding effective solutions.
Initially, fires were thought to
be triggered by poverty and
underdevelopment, rapid
demographic growth and public

Field, R. and Shen, S. (2009)

Marlier, M. et al. (2015)

10

Kew, C. (2015)

14

Harris, N. (2015)

16

Bappenas (1999)

Qadri, S. T. (2001)

Gaveau, D. L. (2014)

11

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2001)

15

Van der Werf, G. et al. (2015)

17

World Bank (2015)

Ibid 7

Langner, A. et al. (2007)

12

Vidal, J. (2015)

18

Ibid 18

13

Litta, H. (2012); Albar, I. (2014 and 2015); World Resources


Institute (2016)

19

unawareness of their hazardous


impact.20 Material deprivation theories
were soon debunked by economic
arguments contending that foreign
direct investment and development
aid from financial institutions such as
the World Bank or the International
Monetary Fund had encouraged
Indonesia to increasingly rely on
commercial agriculture, especially
oil palm cultivation, consequently
boosting the demand for fast
development of arable land.21
The next wave of research suggested
that inadequate public policies and

Bappenas (1999); World Bank (2015); Qadri, S. T. (2001); Litta,


H. (2012); Quah, E. (2002); Van der Werf, G. R. et al. (2015)

20

Colfer, C. J. P. (2002); Varma, A. (2003)

21

Marinova, N. (1999); Gellert, P. K. (1998)

Landscape fires in Indonesia 12

poor regional governance were


the real bottlenecks hindering fire
mitigation in Indonesia. The existence
of aggressive incentives for land
conversion into oil palm plantations
and the short time span of agricultural
concessions led to irresponsible
land management practices.22
Furthermore, political decentralization
and bureaucratic inefficiencies
resulted in poor coordination and
slow reaction to fires.23 The ASEAN
way was also blamed for hindering
solutions, as it is anchored in the
principle of state sovereignty and
non-interference.24
Contemporary research combines
the previous domain-specific
explanations with a broader political
economy analysis framework to
generate complex hypotheses.

Several authors suggest that


the persistence of fires is due
to an interaction between the
regionalization of the palm oil
sector in Southeast Asia, the failure
of environmental governance
mechanisms within ASEAN, and the
existence of vested interests and
patronage politics.25
Adding to the problem complexity,
fires bring together an extensive and
tangled network of stakeholders,
ranging from those who are directly
involved in their generation or
suppression to those who are
indirectly fuelling, mitigating them,
or passively suffering their effects.
Commonly referenced stakeholder
groups include the public sector
(encompassing different tiers of

government), the private sector (from


large to small agricultural producers),
and civil society organizations.
Moreover, research highlights the
contextual specificity of causes,26
as well as a shifting pattern of
causality throughout time,27 which
further complicates a systematic and
conclusive problem analysis. In the
absence of a clear problem structure,
each group of stakeholders holds to
a different perspective on the issue,
spurring a never-ending blame game
that hinders cooperative efforts to
potential solutions.

Purpose of
the Study

3
22

Aiken, S. R. (2004); Eaton, P. and


Radojevic, M. (2001)

23

Mayer, J. (2006)

24

Tan, A. K. (2005)

26

Dennis, R. et al. (2005)

25

Varkkey, H. (2015)

27

CIFOR (2015)
13 Landscape fires in Indonesia

15 Landscape fires in Indonesia


15 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 14

RESEARCH QUESTION AND OBJECTIVES


Taking into consideration
the founding mission of the
BCSD Singapore, namely to
foster business leadership for
sustainable development and to
envisage conducive environments
for the implementation of
responsible private sector
initiatives, this PAE seeks to
address the following overarching
question:
Which policy interventions
would result in a reduction
of landscape fires in
Indonesia with respect to
private sector operations?

Three main research objectives


have been identified accordingly:
a. Understanding the multiple
and interrelated root causes
of fires, as well as the key
stakeholders' perspectives
and interests, with a view to
building a comprehensive
problem map.
b. Reviewing the policies
currently in place, noting
their shortfalls in effectively
mitigating the problem.
c. Presenting policy alternatives

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR FIRE REDUCTION


by and for the private sector
and assessing their potential
for change. These alternatives
include private sector
strategies to abate fires as
well as public policies that
would trigger and enable the
implementation of private
sector initiatives.

It makes good business sense to


fight landscape fires in Indonesia. As
a rule of thumb, the private sector is
motivated to embed environmental
sustainability into its core business
strategy when it pays off to be green.
For instance, companies usually take
the green leap upon recognition
of the need to reduce risk, or when
they acknowledge an opportunity
to differentiate their products, to
manage competitors within their
industries, or to broadly redefine
market competition.28

28

Reinhardt, F. (1999)

29

Gupta, D. K. (2011)

30

To start with, preventing fires is


about mitigating environmental
risks. Landscape fires are often
framed as a negative externality
problem: in the absence of clear
and enforceable property rights,
when individual economic agents
use fire for their private benefit, they
impose an unaccounted cost to
society at large.29 Nevertheless, given
the recurrent nature of these fires,
the private gain to the polluters
today may become their private loss
tomorrow, insofar as pervasive and
uncontrollable burning can randomly

Hayasaka, H. et al. (2014)

31

spread and harm any cultivated land.


Moreover, the fire and resulting haze
increase the concentration level of
tropospheric ozone,30 which is known
to adversely affect crop productivity.
It is estimated that up to 20% of
the agricultural production in Asia
could be damaged due to excessive
ground ozone levels by 2050.31
Reputational risks are also high
for companies failing to keep fires
under control. Large producers in
the agribusiness sector are under

Chuwah, C. et al. (2015)

17 Landscape fires in Indonesia


Landscape fires in Indonesia 16

the constant oversight of watchdog


organizations, ready to denounce any
unsustainable practices. Similarly,
global consumers of agricultural
commodities are increasingly
demanding sustainability standards
for the goods they purchase. These
consumers are usually ready to pay a
premium for green goods, which can
motivate businesses to differentiate
their products by renouncing the use
of fire.
Furthermore, markets respond to
other sorts of external pressures,
primarily governments seeking
to regulate their behaviors.
Governments worldwide are more
and more keen on imposing trade
sanctions or labelling requirements
to disincentivize unsustainably
sourced commodities,32 even
outside the so-called developed
world. Developing economies such
as China are signalling a move
towards environmental sustainability,
as in the case of certified palm oil
imports.33 Companies operating in
the Indonesian agricultural sector
can therefore anticipate a stricter
regulatory environment and seek
competitive advantage by taking the
lead with progressive sustainability
policies.

More fundamentally, in the aftermath


of the Paris Agreement reached
during COP-21, a global paradigm
shift is awakening, which will have
profound implications on the way
governments and private sector
actors approach environmental
sustainability. Indonesias Intended
Nationally Determined Contribution
takes into consideration greenhouse
gas emissions from agriculture,
forestry, land use and land-use
change.34 Landscape fires are known
to be one of the main sources of
these emissions. Thus companies in
the agricultural sector can seize the
opportunity to design and implement
systemic changes, including stringent
fire-free policies, that will redefine
market competition in the new
normal.

Analy tical
Framework

4
32

Smedley, T. (2014)

33

RSPO (2015)

34

Republic of Indonesia (2015)


17 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 18

Acknowledging the need for a


comprehensive approach to
understand landscape fires and
to approximate potential solutions,
this study combines a structural
diagnosis with a stakeholder analysis.
Together, they account for the
interplay of material, institutional and
behavioral aspects conforming the
core of the problem. The structural
diagnosis encompasses a revision

of relevant structures, rules of the


game and institutions causing and
perpetuating landscape fires, while
the stakeholder analysis identifies the
attitudes of key stakeholder groups
towards a potential fire-reduction
scenario. A visual formulation of this
analytical framework is presented
in Figure 2. This systems view
approach underpins the problem
tree presented in section 5, which

is complemented in section 6
by a stakeholder analysis matrix
measuring the relative power and
interest of each identified stakeholder
group. The outcome of this analysis
guides the formulation and evaluation
of policy alternatives, which are
discussed in subsequent sections.

FIGURE 2: FRAMEWORK FOR STRUCTURAL AND STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS

Civil
Society

Problem
Mapping

Public
Sector

Landscape
fires

Cause 2

Cause 1

Cause 3

Sub-cause A

Sub-cause A

Sub-cause A

Sub-cause B

Sub-cause B

Sub-cause B

Sub-cause C

Sub-cause C

Sub-cause C

Contextual pressures and


aggravating factors

Private Sector
Smallholders

Agricultural practices
Land tenure
Political constraints
Legal framework
Microeconomic factors
Monitoring systems
Business management

Macroeconomic forces
Ecological features
Climate conditions

Private Sector
Companies

19 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 20

21 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Available literature on landscape fires and primary data collected during field trips and interviews differentiate between
direct causes and contextual pressures triggering landscape fires. The problem tree in Figure 3 shows these direct causes
(red shapes) and indirect factors (green circles). A detailed explanation of the identified causal links follows next.

FIGURE 3: CAUSAL CHAIN ANALYSIS OF LANDSCAPE FIRES

Poor water
management
El Nino

Degraded
peatland
Complex land
allocation and
permit process
Unclear land
tenure

Dry weather
No
subsidies

Land claims
and disputes

Uncertified land
among local
communities
Imperfect
information on
land use within
concessions

Logged over
forest

Low levels
of farmer
aggregatoin

Ecological
risk factors

Slash and
burn
Fast
conversion of
land

Economic
pressures

Rural
underdevelopment

Accidental
fire
Poor
monitoring
and slow
response

Unclear
land ownership

Small-scale
burning legal
No
punishment

Lack of
incriminatory
evidence

Uncertified
land among
small growers
and local
communities

Corruption and
bribery
Land-use
Overlapping of
change
licenses
Absence of
Lack of
Corruption coordination
unified or
single map of
among permit
ownership
issuers
Different
authorities to
issue licenses

Macroeconomic
dependence
on agriculture
Global
demand for
commodities

Cheap and fast method


of land clearing
Costly alternatives for
Need for fertilizer,
land clearing
herbicide and pesticide
Soil acidity
in peatland
Weak monitoring

Absence or
improper FPIC

Landscape
fire

Difficult
access to
credit

Lack of
awareness
Domestic activities
(cooking, smoking)

Within
consessions
villages &
population

UNDERLYING PRESSURES: AGRICULTURE IN INDONESIAS


MACROECONOMIC CONTEXT
Man-made fires in Indonesia mostly
result from the use of slash and burn
methods in agriculture. Historically,
this technique was employed in
traditional farming on a small scale.
Open burning after harvesting sought

35

Ketterings, Q. M. et al. (1999);


Pongpol, S. (2010)

36

Dennis, R. (1999)

37

to rejuvenate land for the following


growing season and to clear new
patches of land for cultivation.35
Landscape fires escalated36 along
with the expansion of agribusiness

Charles, V. B. and James, S. (2000)

38

in Indonesia during the 1980s and


1990s,37 which was largely driven by
public sector development projects
and private foreign capital investment
from Singapore and Malaysia.38 The

Food and Agriculture Organization of


the United Nations (2012)

demand for new arable land39 and


subsequent land clearing (usually
by open burning) was indirectly
stimulated during that period through
government regulations promoting
the conversion of forested areas into
estate crops and industrial timber
concessions.40
The rising global demand for
agricultural commodities41 continued
to attract international investment
into Indonesias agribusiness sector
during the 2000s.42 Agriculture is,
in fact, an important pillar of the
Indonesian economy with a relative
contribution to GDP amounting
to 14.5% between 2000 and
2010, and employing 40% of the
active population.43 For the period
2011-2014, share of the labor
force employed in agriculture was
estimated at 36% while agricultures
share in GDP was recorded at
13.4%.44 This macroeconomic
picture continues to fuel demand
for new land development, indirectly
increasing the risk of fire use.
The geographical expansion of oil
palm cultivation followed a rapid trend
in Indonesia, from 1.6 million hectares
in 1989 to 10 million hectares in
1998 according to non-governmental
estimations.45 The government
offers a more conservative picture,
reporting 8.4 million hectares used
for growing oil palm in 2010.46 Palm
oil has become a key agricultural
commodity in Indonesia, accounting

for 4.5% of the countrys GDP in


2011.47 The global demand for palm
oil is projected to reach 68 million
tons by 2020, sharply rising from 17
million tons in 1997.48

farming. It is worth noting that the


cost of 2015 fire season to Indonesia
exceeded the value added from its
total palm oil production in 2014.54

Similarly, industrial timber plantations


were favored by a government
program launched during the
1990s to spur the pulp and paper
industry, which contemplated the
establishment of 1.4 million hectares
of concession areas in 1995, up to
2.3 million hectares in 2003. The
Indonesian government aims at
10.5 million hectares of pulpwood
concessions by 2030.49 The
current contribution of the pulp and
paper sector to Indonesias GDP is
estimated at around 1%.50 The global
demand for paper and board grew
by 7.8 million tons between 2010
and 2014, mainly driven by Asian
markets.51
The link between landscape fires
and the development of the palm oil
industry in Indonesia is documented
in the literature.52 Data assembled by
the World Resources Institute (WRI)
suggest that oil palm plantations
are common fire scenarios, with
17% of all alerts taking place
inside concession areas in 2013,
down to 15% in 2014 and 10% in
2015.53 These numbers are likely
understating the link between palm
oil and fire since they are only based
on commercial concession maps,
thus excluding informal smallholder

A correlation has also been


established between landscape
fires and pulp and paper industrial
concessions,55 with WRI data
situating 19% of annual fire alerts
are inside pulpwood concession
areas, rising to 23% 2014 and 24% in
2015.56 Interviewed representatives
from the pulp and paper industry
explained that a large proportion of
these fires are ignited for agricultural
purposes by communities living
inside or closely surrounding
concession areas.
Adding to this, poverty has been
identified as a structural driver of
landscape fires in countries with
tropical forest endowments.57 In
Indonesia, 47% of population lived
in rural areas in 2014, out of which
14.2% laid under the national poverty
line.58 Cash crops such as oil palm
have offered small farmers in the
upstream end of global supply chains
the possibility of increasing their
incomes.59 Smallholders cultivate
following traditional and costminimizing practices, that is, slash
and burn.60

39

Casson, A. et al. (2014)

46

Budi Indrarto, G. et al. (2012)

54

World Bank (2015)

40

Budi Indrarto, G. et al. (2012)

47

The Ecosystem Alliance (2013)

55

WRI Indonesia (2013)

41

Simoes, A. et al. (2015)

48

Palm Oil Research (2014)

56

World Resources Institute (2016)

42

Food and Agriculture Organization


of the United Nations (2012)

49

Budi Indrarto, G. et al. (2012)

57

Wright, S. J. et al. (2007)

50

Giesen, W. (2015)

58

51

Hawkins Wright (2015)

World Bank Development


Indicators (2015)

52

Varkkey, H. (2015)

59

World Growth (2011)

53

World Resources Institute (2016)

60

Guyon, A. et al. (2002)

43

Ibid 43

44

World Bank Development


Indicators (2015)

45

UNDP (2015)

Landscape fires in Indonesia 22

23 Landscape fires in Indonesia

UNDERLYING PRESSURES: CLIMATE AND ECOLOGY ISSUES

PT. PELANGI INTI PERTIWI

Sinaboi

!(

Kubu

!(

PT. JATIM JAYA PERKASA

!(

!.

Kota Pinang

!(

Bantaian

Simpang Kanan

PT. SINDORA SERAYA UTAMA

!(

ROKAN II

Torgamba

!(

ROKAN II

PT. IVO MAS TUNGGAL

Bagan Batu

!(

!(

10310'0"E

10320'0"E

10330'0"E

10340'0"E

230'0"N

1030'0"E

MUAR

KLUANG

BATU PAHAT

!(

Selatbaru

PT. TOBE INDAH

Bukit Kapur

BENGKALIS

!.

PT. DHARMAWUNGU GUNA

JOHOR BAHRU

"/

PT. TOBE INDAH

PT. MURINI WOOD INDAH INDUSTRI

!(
PT. RIAU MAKMUR SENTOSA

!.

TRANSMIGRASI

!(

PASIR PANGARAYAN

PT. ELUAN MAHKOTA

Tangun

!.

PASIR PANGGARAIAN

!(

KOTA TENGAH
PT. ROKAN ADI MAKMUR PLANTATION

Kandis

PT. ANUGERAH NIAGA SAWINDO


PT. ANUGERAH NIAGA SAWINDO
!(

PT. WANA SUBUR SAWIT INDAH

!(

PT. EGASUTI NASAKTI


PT. EGASUTI NASAKTI
!( Petapahan

PT. PADASA ENAM UTAMA

!(

!(

Tanjung !(

!(

Batu Bersurat

!(

Salo

!.

!(

!(

Ladangpanjang

!(

!(

110'0"N
!(

!(

Tanjung Batu

!(

!(

Teluk Dalam

!(

!(

PANGKALAN KERINCI

!(

PT. LANGGAM INTI HIBRINDO


!(

!.

PT.RIAU SAKTI TRANSMANDIRI


PT. RIAU SAKTI UNITED PLANTATION

PT. ADEI CRUMB RUBBER

!(

Pangkalan Bunut
PT. GUNTUNG HASRAT MAKMUR

PT. PANCA SURYA AGRINDO PERKASA

LanggamPT. LANGGAM INTI HIBRINDO

PT. SURYA BRATASENA PLANTATION

!(

Sungai Pagar

!(

Sorek I

!(
PT. LANGGAM INTI HIBRINDO
PT. SURYA BRATASENA PLANTATION

!(

Teluk Balengkong

!(

Teluk Meranti

PT. SERIKAT PUTRA

!(
PT.MUSIM MAS
!(

!(

Pangkalan Lesung

PT. BLANGKOLAM

!(

PT. GANDAHERAH HENDANA

Ukui

!(

63

Sungailimau

!(

!(

64

!.

65

BATU SANGKAR

TALUK KUANTAN

PT. WANASARI NUSANTARA

!(

Muara Lembu

!(

Baserah PT. WANA JINGGA TIMUR


!(
Inuman

66

Miettinen, J. et al. (2012)


!(

PT. UDAYA LOHJINAWI

!.

Sicincin

PARIAMAN

!(

TALUK KUANTAN

!.

Sawahlunto

!.

MUARO

!(

Kampung Baru

Lubuk Ambacang PT. DUTA PALMA NUSANTARA


!(

Sijunjung

!(

Cerenti
!(

!(

69
Peranap

!(

Air Molek

Sungai Lala

!(

Ibid 67
!(

Teluk Pinang

Sungai Piring

!.

RAWA SEKIP

Kelayang

PT. ALAMSARI LESTARI

!(

Kuala Cinaku

World Resources Institute (2016)

!(

!(

!(

77

82.5

"/

Ibukota Provinsi

!.

Ibukota Kabupaten

!(

Ibukota Kecamatan
Jalan Primer

Hutan

88

Lack of incriminatory evidence due to


weak monitoring is yet another factor
causing fires to persist. In the surveys
conducted for this study, 50% of
the respondents suggested that the
government has dedicated the lions
share of public efforts to monitoring
and verification tasks. Paradoxically,
the same trend of answers was
observed when identifying the
areas that the government had
least invested in. Overall, 48%
of respondents pointed to poor
monitoring and law enforcement as
the main obstacle to mitigate fires.
Indonesias unclear land rights
regime has been highlighted as an
additional factor triggering landscape
fires. Multiple government actors are
involved in land licensing and permit
allocation.79 Concession maps are
not made public pleading national
security concerns,80 and they are not
even shared vertically and horizontally

Poor monitoring, together with the


fuzzy land rights system, spurs illegal
markets to continue burning and
selling new land for cultivation.84
Pervasive corruption within the
Indonesian public sector, including
local bureaucracies, police force and
judiciary system85 impedes proper
law enforcement and contributes to
an ethos of legal impunity that further
encourages fire perpetrators.86

Concong Luar

!(

Sapat

Belilas

!(
!(

Enok
!(

Kempas Jaya

Kuala Enok

PT. RIGUNAS AGRI UTAMA


PT. BUMI PALMA LESTARI PERSADA

PT. INDRI PLANT

TRANSMIGRASI

PT. TRI BAKTI SARIMAS

!(
TRANSMIGRASI

PT. KENCANA AMAL TANI

Aurcina

PT. ARVENA SEPAKAT

!(

Benteng

!(

Seberida

!(

PT. AGRORAYA GEMATRANS


!(

Pulau Kijang

Kota Baru Siberida

PT. AGRORAYA GEMATRANS

SOLOK

!(
PT. TRI BAKTI SARIMAS

PADANG

71.5

PROVINSI

!.

PULAU PUNJUNG

70

Salim, E. (2007)

74

Johnston, L. (2015)

78

Fogarty, D. (2015)

82

De Leon, R. et al. (2013)

71

Yamauchi, F. (2014)

75

Christina, B and Taylor, M. (2015)

79

Brockhaus, M. et al. (2012)

83

Butler, R. A. (2015)

72

Ketterings, Q. M. et al. (1999)

76

International Finance Corporation (2013)

80

REDD Monitor (2015)

84

Fogarty, D. (2015)

73

Budi Indrarto, G. et al. (2012)

77

Schonhardt, S. (2013)

81

Tan, A. (2015)

85

Gallup (2015)

86

Chen, S. (2015)

Sungai Salak

TRANSMIGRASI

PT. INECDA

Pematang

TEMBILAHAN

RENGAT
!.
Pematang Reba

PT. INECDA

Lubuk Jambi

PT. TRI BAKTI SARIMAS

!.

Lubuk Batu Tinggal

!(

Benai

PT. DUTA PALMA NUSANTARA


PT. CERENTI SUBUR

Singkarak

68

Pangean

Lirik

Moore, P. and Haase, N. (2003)


PT. INTI INDO SAWIT SUBUR
!(

Perhentian Luas

Quah, E. and Varkkey, H. (2013)


!(

!(

!(

Minnemeyer, S. et al. (2014)

!(

67

Maltby, E. and Barker, T. (2009)

!(

!.

66

LIPAT KAIN

Gaveau, D. L. et al. (2013)


PADANG PANJANG

60.5

Kuala Lahang

!(

PT. INTI INDO SAWIT SUBUR

Kota Baru

PT. ALFA GLORY INDAH

Spessa, A. C. et al. (2015)


!.

55

Khairah Mandah

PT. SUNTAI JAYA SATRIA

Pangkalan Kapau

PT. GANDAHERAH HENDANA

PT. BLANGKOLAM

BUKITTINGGI

62

49.5

PT. SARI LEMBAH SUBUR

020'0"S

61

Sungai Guntung

030'0"S

!.

!(

Pelangiran

PT. TUNGGAL PERKASA PLANTATION

!.

44

Kilometers

PT. BHUMIREKSA NUSA SEJATI

!(
PT. SERIKAT PUTRA PT. MEKARSARI ALAM LESTARI

!(

LUBUK BASUNG

38.5

PT. MULTI GAMBUT INDUSTRI


PT. SAFARI RIAU
PT. SURYA BRATASENA PLANTATION
PT. SERIKAT PUTRA
PT. MITRA UNGGUL PUSAKAPT. AGRITA SARI PRIMA
PT. SERIKAT PUTRA

Simalinyang

Gema

!(

33

PT. MULTI GAMBUT INDAH INDUSTRI

Lipat Kain

PAYAKUMBUH

Darai

!(
PT. PULAU KUNDUR
PRAKARSA

PT. NUSA ESA BINA


!(

!.

Moro

PT. TRISETYA USAHA MANDIRI

PT. ALFA GLORY INDAH


PT. KEBUN PANTAI RAJA

Suliki

Urung

BPP SEI PUTIH PT. INTI INDO SAWIT SUBUR

Pangkalan BaruSei Kijang

PT. GANDA BUANINDO


TRANSMIGRASI LIPAT KAIN

!(

!(

!(

PT. INTI INDO SAWIT SUBUR

PT. FLORA WAHANA TATA


!( Gunungsahilan

Bonjol

Kundur

Dayun

PT. PUSAKA MEGAH BUMI NUSANTARA


PT. RAJA GARUDA MAS SEJATI

!(

!(

KUD BHAKTI SEPAKAT


KUD JAYA SUBUR

PT. SAWIT SAKTI JAYA


!(

PT. CIPTA DAYA SEJATI

Pangkalan Kotabaru

KUD PINANG MASAK


PT. TANI SWADAYA PERDANA
PT. TANI SWADAYA PERDANA

Tanjung Utan

Kerinci Kanan

Simpang Tiga

!(

PT. PERTISA TRADING COY LTD.


PT. CILIANDRA PERKASA

!(

!(

Lubuk DalamKUD DAYUN MAS

BANGKINANG Air Tiris

Simpang Tigo

Tanjung Samak

PT. TEKNIK UMUM


PT. MERIDIAN SEJATI SURYA PLANTATION
!(

Tambang

SUNGAI PAGAR

!(

SIAK SRI INDRAPURA


PT. TRIOMAS FDI

!(

PEKANBARU

"/

PT. RAMAJAYA PRAMUKTI PT. PERKEBUNAN V (SEI. PAGAR)


PT. CILIANDRA PERKASA

LUBUKSIKAPING

!.

PT. DUTASWAKARYA INDAH

Perawang

PT. JOHAN SENTOSA PLANTATION

Kuok
!(

!.

Sungai Tohor
!(

PT. UNI SERAYA

PT. ANEKA INTI PERSADA

PRIMKOPAD KOREM 031 WIRABIMA

PT. JOHAN SENTOSA PLANTATION

Buatan

PT. KIMIA TIRTA UTAMA

!(

TRANSMIGRASI

Kabun

Teluk Rampak
TANJUNG BALAI

RumbaiPT. SURYA INTISARI RAYA

PT. RAMAJAYA PRAMUKTI PT. PERKEBUNAN V (SEI. GALUH)


PT. RAMAJAYA PRAMUKTI

PIR KHUSUS (S. LAU-S. TAPUNG KIRI)

!(

KUD PINANG MASAK


KUD PINANG MASAK
KUD PINANG MASAK

PT. PRIATAMA RIAU

Minas

!(

PT. DUMA INDAH PERKASA

PT. ARINDO TRI SEJAHTERA

PT. PADASA ENAM UTAMA

Panti

(!
PT. SEKAR BUMI ALAM LESTARI

BANGKINANG SKP D

Tandun

(!
PIR KHUSUS (S. TAPUNG KIRI)

PT. KARYATAMA BAKTI MULIA

!.

KUD PINANG MASAK

040'0"S

!(

Selat Panjang

!(

PT. WANA SUBUR SAWIT INDAH

Kota Garo TRANSMIGRASI

PT. SEWANGI SEJATI LUHUR


PT. ARINDO TRI SEJAHTERAPT. SEWANGI SEJATI LUHUR
PT. DUMA INDAH PERKASA
PT. TUNGGAL YUNUS ESTATE
PT. PERKEBUNAN V (SEI. GARO)
PT. PERKEBUNAN II (S. LINDAI-S. TAPUNG KIRI)

PIR KHUSUS (SEI. SIASAM-SEI. PENDALIAN)

Tapus

!.

RA

PT. SURYA INTISARI RAYA


!( Muara Kelantan

PT. BUANA WIRA LESTARI

Ujung Batu

!(
PIR KHUSUS (SEI. SIASAM-SEI.
PENDALIAN)

Silayang

Bantar

Alai

Teluk Lepok

KUD PINANG MASAK

PT. BUANA WIRA LESTARI

PT. INTI KAMPARINDO

!(

Langsat Kadap
!(

!(

Rokan

Senamanenek

PT. PERKEBUNAN V

PT. BUDI DATA

!(

!(

!(
!(

PT. IVO MAS TUNGGAL

PT. SUMBER JAYA INDAH NUSA COY


!( Kota Lama
PT. SUBUR ARUM MAKMUR

!(

Raomapattunggul

!(

PT. EKADURA INDONESIA

PT. ANUGERAH NIAGA SAWINDO

!(

Sonde

PT. TEGUH KARSA WANALESTARI

!( PT. IVO MAS TUNGGAL

PT. BINA FITHRI JAYA

Guo

!(

Renak Dungun

!(

Bunga Raya

PT. EKADURA INDONESIA

Danau Sati

Kotaraya

Teluk Belitung
!(

PT. TRISETYA USAHA MANDIRI

TRANSMIGRASI

PT. SAWIT ASAHAN INDAH

!(

Sungai Apit

!(
TRANSMIGRASI

Muara Rumbai

TRANSMIGRASI
!(

!(

PT. KARYATAMA BAKTI MULIA

PT. MURINI SAM SAM

10'0"N

PASIR PANGARAYAN

SIAK I, II, III, IV


SIAK I, II, III, IV
PT. ADEI CRUMB RUBBER FACTORY

PT. ROKAN ERA SUBUR PLANTATION

050'0"N

!(

040'0"N

PASIR PANGARAYAN

030'0"N

Dalu Dalu

Senyerang
Teluknilau

!(

Tungkal MuaraKUALATUNGKAL

!.

!(

!(

Kuala Betara

050'0"S

!(

Kota Tengah

"/

Bandul

Pinggir

Sontang

!(
PT. ROKAN ADI RAYA PLANTATION

PT. PERDANA INTI SAWIT

!(

020'0"N

!(

PT. ADEI CRUMB RUBBER PT. SUMBER JAYA INDAH NUSA COY
PT. HUTAHAEAN

KUKUP
SINGAPURA

!(

TRANSMIGRASI

Lubuk Muda

27.5

This situation leads to uncertain


land tenure and conflicts in land
ownership, which complicate the
unequivocal identification of fire
perpetrators, paving the way for
free riding behaviors and evasion of
responsibility. Taking advantage of
the uncertainty, smallholders have
often encroached land through fires
and blamed companies to avoid
punishment. The opposite case
is also noted: companies have
made use of the opaque land rights
regime to initiate fires and later on
accuse local communities and
smallholders.83

010'0"N

TRANSMIGRASI
!( Rantau Kasai

Duri

22

within the government.81 Adding to


this is the presence of communities
and independent cultivators inside
and surrounding concession areas,
who do not hold certified land titles.82
According to an interviewed private
sector stakeholder, only 2% of
smallholders in the palm oil industry
have certified land rights, while the
rest are cultivating without official land
ownership or tenure.

00'0"

!(

16.5

Corruption watchdogs and


independent observers point to
malpractices of government officials
and connections between public
servants and politicians as another
factor behind landscape fires.
Corruption scandals are numerous
in the agro-forestry sector, and
they usually involve the issuance of
plantation licences in protected forest
areas.77 It is estimated that 6.9 million
hectares of national forest have been
illegally allotted to business entities by
local authorities, which accounts for a
loss of $17.54 billion to Indonesia.78

010'0"S

PT. TUMPUAN

120'0"N

PT. PAN UNITED


PT. DARMALI JAYA UTAMA

11

Areal IUPHHK HA-HPH

PT.
!( SURYA DUMAI AGRINDO
PT. BUDI DAKSA DWIKUSUMA

!(

0 2.75 5.5

Areal Pelepasan Perkebunan

DUMAI

!.

Indonesian lawSKALA
prohibits
1 : 500.000 the use
of fire for agricultural purposes and
KETERANGAN 73
land
clearing. However, these
regulations are poorly enforced de
facto.74 A few exceptions to the rule
exist: farmers are allowed to burn
2 hectares of land for cultivation, a
factor which gives legal as well as
moral ground to smallholders using
slash and burn techniques.75 There
is a lack of financial incentives for
farmers to afford alternative means
of land clearing. Many interviewees
confirmed that difficult access to
finance to acquire land clearing
technology is one of the major
impediments preventing the reduction
of fires. This goes together with low
rates of formal farmer aggregation
in agricultural cooperatives. It is
estimated that only 14% of the farmer
base in Asia Pacific is organized in
formal groups,76 therefore preventing
pooling of financial resources to
afford land clearing equipment.
KABUPATEN

Batu Panjang

Sedinginan

Pujud

!(

10250'0"E

!.

PT. SARPINDO GRAHA

Melayu Besar

10240'0"E

!.

!(

PT. SURYA DUMAI AGRINDO

PT. TUNGGAL MITRA PLANTATION


PT. TUNGGAL MITRA PLANTATION
PT. PERKEBUNAN NUSANTARA V
PT. TUNGGAL MITRA PLANTATION
PT. TUNGGAL MITRA PLANTATION
PT. PERKEBUNAN NUSANTARA V

Tanjung Medang

Peatland development is nowadays

PT. IVO MAS TUNGGAL PT. GUNUNG MAS RAYA

PT. LAHAN TANI SAKTI

MALAKA

Lubuk Gaung

!(

PT. SIAK SERAYA UTAMA

PORT DICKSON

10230'0"E

!.

!(

PT. IVO MAS TUNGGAL

10220'0"E

PT. NURINTA BAGANYASA


PT. BAYU AGRIKA

Bangko Kanan
Rimba Melintang

!(

10210'0"E

PT. SARPINDO GRAHA

ROKAN IPT. SINDORA SERAYA UTAMA

PT. GUNUNG MAS RAYA

1020'0"E

PT. MARITA MAKMUR JAYA

PT. SINDORA SERAYA UTAMA

ROKAN III

10150'0"E

"/

The characteristics of some


soils used for agriculture are
also hampering the reduction of
landscape fires. Peat swamps started
being developed for agricultural

Kampung Rakyat

10140'0"E

!.

BAGAN SIAPI API

!.

10130'0"E

Land clearing through open burning


is on average 40 times cheaper than
mechanical and chemical methods.70
The cost factor acts therefore
as a strong incentive preventing
technological change, especially
among smallholders.71 In addition,
slash and burn is the fastest way to
clear land, besides the fact that the
ashes resulting from burning fertilize
soils and improve their structure,
enabling faster establishment of
PETA PENUTUPAN
TAHUN
seedlings,
as well asHUTAN
reducing
the1990
DENGAN HPH PROVINSI RIAU
72
occurrence
of pestsHa
and
SELUAS 6.639.000
(73diseases.
% DARATAN)

220'0"N

10120'0"E

Panipahan

!(

!(

10110'0"E

210'0"N

1010'0"E

20'0"N

10050'0"E

150'0"N

!(

10040'0"E

140'0"N

10030'0"E

10020'0"E

Labuhanbilik

a debated issue. Degraded and


unmanaged peat soils are extremely
ignitable carbon sinks, where
underground fires can smolder for
long periods, producing thick smoke
and large CO2 emissions.68 As a
matter of fact, 49% of landscape
fires between 2013 and 2015
occurred in peatland.69 While
interviewed NGO groups were found
to be overwhelmingly against peat
cultivation, the opinions among
private sector representatives were
more diverse. Some defended
that planting on peatland is not
problematic as long as a good
water management system is in
place. However, other respondents
observed an unavoidable risk of fire in
peat soils vis--vis mineral soils, and
were less supportive of continued
agricultural development in peatland.

130'0"N

10010'0"E

!(

purposes following the transmigration


programs of late 1960s, which
sought to reduce population density
in Java and Bali by relocating citizens
to Borneo and Sumatra.64 Even
though cultivation in peat is more
complex than in mineral soils, the
profitability of the palm oil industry 65
rendered peatland development
economically viable for plantations.66
Many commercially attractive species
are naturally not suited to peat soils
given their humidity and acidic nature,
for which reason they need to be
drained and chemically altered before
planting.67 Controlled drainage is
subsequently required to remove
excess water from rainfall and to keep
the underground water table at a
suitable level for crops.

Landscape fires in Indonesia usually


occur as a seasonal event during the
driest and warmest months of the
year, mainly from June to October. El
Nio years (1997, 2002, 2006, 2004
and 2015) were particularly harmful
due to sustained high temperatures
and a decrease in average rainfall
(see Figure 1 in section 2).61 However,
the patterns of fires seem to be
changing, with non-drought years
also showing high incidence rates62
and prolonged fire seasons. As an
illustration, fires burned throughout
2014 without El Nios extreme
conditions.63

FIRE AS A TOOL FOR AGRICULTURE

Landscape fires in Indonesia 24

FIRE AS A TOOL FOR LAND DISPUTES


Fire is also used as a protest tool in
unresolved land disputes between
local communities, smallholders
and concessionaires.87 Arson, or
the intentional use of fire to cause
damage to property, is common in
areas with commercially valuable
natural resource endowments,
scarce arable land, as well as unclear
resource access, tenure and use.88
Smallholders and local communities
use fire as a weapon to reclaim land
from plantations that have been
established in a perceived unfair
allocation process. Moreover, given
the existence of unresolved land
claims and uncertain land tenure,
smallholders have no incentives to
prevent the spread of fires from their
small plots to concession areas.89
Available literature also highlights the

use of fire by companies seeking to


prevent communities land claims or
to reduce the financial compensation
offered to communities during the
negotiation for the establishment of a
new plantation.90
This reveals a problem in the
negotiation process leading to the
initial constitution of agricultural
concessions, as well as a failure
to address community grievances
during the implementation of
business operations. The principle
of Free and Prior Informed Consent
(FPIC) is often not observed
in processes to acquire land
management rights,91 leading to
disputes with communities. A
factor contributing to improper
FPIC processes is the scarce and

incomplete information on land use


within allocated concession areas.
Moreover, an interviewed
representative of a palm oil company
raised concerns regarding the
inefficient process of land allocation
for agricultural concessions. After the
Indonesian government grants an
in-principle permit for land utilization,
the company is expected to develop
the area within 2 to 3 years. By the
end of this period, the final borders
of the concession are based on the
land that the company has been
able to develop through negotiations
with local communities. Most of the
time, the initial permit area is not
fully utilized due to unsuccessful
negotiations or unsuitable ecological
conditions.

Stakeholder
Analysis

ACCIDENTAL FIRE
Last but not least there is a negligible
proportion of fires that are thought
to be ignited accidentally, as a
result of domestic activities such
as cooking or littering of cigarette
butts, according to some interviewed
stakeholders.

TABLE 3: SUMMARY OF DIRECT CAUSES AND CONTEXTUAL


TRIGGERS OF LANDSCAPE FIRES
DIMENSION

DIRECT CAUSES & CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Environment & Climate

El Nio Southern Oscillation; Deforestation; Altered


carbon rich peatland soils

Economics

Government spending and international


investment in agricultural sector; Global demand
for agricultural commodities; Poverty and rural
underdevelopment

Policy

Land conversion to agriculture; Weak monitoring,


reporting and verification mechanisms

Legal System

Unclear land rights regime; Open burning for


smallholders; Insufficient legal protection of natural
environment; Poor law enforcement

Government & Politics

Patronage politics, corruption and bribery in land


allocation processes and judicial procedures;
Weak state capacity

87

Sizer, N. et al. (2014)

89

Suyanto, S. (2006)

88

Dennis, R. A. et al. (2005)

90

Dennis, R. A. et al. (2005)

91

Satriastanti, F. E. (2016)
25 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 26

27 Landscape fires in Indonesia

STAKEHOLDER IDENTIFICATION

STAKEHOLDER MATRIX

Given the complexity and


scope of the landscape fire
problem, a large number of
stakeholders comes into play.
Their degree of involvement
ranges from those who are
directly generating or fighting
fires, to those who are indirectly
fuelling them, passively suffering
their outcomes or trying to
mitigate them. For the purposes
of this study, stakeholders have
been clustered into four different
categories: business entities;
smallholders (which together
with the former constitute the
private sector); government
(local and central level); and
civil society organizations and
society at large. The table below
identifies main actors within each
category.

The matrix below serves as a


stakeholder diagnosis of the
landscape fire issue, as suggested
by the data obtained from fieldwork
and secondary sources. The matrix
describes the position of each
stakeholder group with regard to
landscape fire reduction. A difference

TABLE 4: PRIMARY STAKEHOLDERS IN LANDSCAPE FIRES

TYPE OF STAKEHOLDER

ACTORS

Private Sector - Companies

National and international agribusiness companies


operating in Indonesia (commercial agriculture)

Private sector - Smallholders

Small growers (livelihood agriculture); Independent


and supported palm oil smallholders; Non-commercial
(subsistence) cultivators

Government

Central government (Ministry of Environment and


Forestry, Indonesian Armed Forces); Provincial, district
and village-level governments (including fire brigades
and forensic teams)

Civil Society & NGOs

TYPE OF STAKEHOLDER

Private sector - Companies

STAKEHOLDER

PRIVATE SECTORLARGE
PRODUCERS

ACTORS
Private sector business platforms; International
investors, banks and other financial institutions
supporting agribusiness companies; Manufacturing
companies using Indonesian agri-commodities and
retailers distributing their products

Private sector - Smallholders

Agricultural cooperatives; Smallholders associations

Government

Land licensing authorities (Ministry of Environment


and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, provincial and
local governments, Ministry of Energy and Mineral
Resources); Ministry of Land and Spatial Planning;
Ministry of National Development Planning; Law
enforcement bodies; Judicial authorities; Governments
of Singapore, Malaysia and other ASEAN states;
Intergovernmental organizations; States importing agricommodities from Indonesia

Civil Society & NGOs

Local, national and international NGOs; Academia and


think tanks; Concerned civil society groups inside and
outside Indonesia; Global consumers of agricultural
products sourced from Indonesia

Positions are assessed as a


combination of interest towards
finding a solution to the fire problem
and power to be a driver of change.
Power, understood as the capacity
to influence others behaviors, is
estimated on the basis of financial
resources, technical capacity and
proximity to public decision-makers.

TABLE 6: STAKEHOLDERS ATTITUDES TOWARD FIRE REDUCTION

Voluntary fire-fighters; Population at large

TABLE 5: INDIRECT STAKEHOLDERS IN LANDSCAPE FIRES

has been made between local/


regional governments and national
government because their positions
were found to differ significantly. In a
similar vein, companies in the private
sector have been classified in two
different groups: large and mediumsize producers.

INTEREST

POWER

HIGH

HIGH

(+) Incentives

(+) Strengths

Highly visible to civil society, global consumers,


governments, NGO and think tanks;
Sustainability as branding strategy and competitive
advantage;
Affected parties when fires involve their concession;
Minor cost constraints to find alternatives to slash and
burn

Easy access to financial resources;


High technical capacity, expertise,
investment in R&D to increase yield;
Capacity to influence smallholders
and communities behaviors through
incentivization;
Well connected to government

(-) Disincentives

(-) Limitations

Large demand from developing countries with low


purchasing power and few sustainability requirements

Weak business to business


communication;
Lack of corporate public strategy

LOW

PRIVATE SECTORMEDIUM-SIZED
PRODUCERS

MEDIUM

(+) Incentives

(+) Strengths

Sometimes held legally accountable in court, despite


weak punishment

Financial resources at reach;


Close connections with local and
provincial political figures;

(-) Disincentives

(-) Limitations

Big number of players with low visibility (difficult to


monitor);
Profit maximizing attitude;
Sustainability not part of branding and business strategy;
Punishment is easy to escape (corruption, bribery)

Relatively low technical capacity: no


investment in R&D, fire extinguishing
equipment, fire prevention programs

LOW

PRIVATE SECTORSMALLHOLDERS

LOW

(+) Incentives

(-) Limitations

Sometimes held legally accountable in court

Very limited or null access to financial


resources;
Lack of technical expertise on
advanced cultivation techniques;
Grower associations and agricultural
cooperatives are scarce;
Power distance with governmental
actors

(-) Disincentives
Hiding in the crowd: difficult to highlight individual action,
low traceability
Cultivation for livelihood/subsistence, low yield and profit;
No economies of scale;
Major cost constraints (slash and burn more economical);
Law allows small-scale burning;
Burning as a traditional practice;

Landscape fires in Indonesia 28

MEDIUM

HIGH

PUBLIC SECTOR
- NATIONAL
GOVERNMENT

(+) Incentives

(+) Strengths

International attention and poor image of state capacity


(political failure);
Pressure from ASEAN member states;
Accountable to the demands from citizens and civil
society groups;
International commitments for environmental protection

High financial capability

(-) Disincentives
Macroeconomic growth through agricultural sector;
Rural underdevelopment;
Boosting international competitiveness and attracting
investment

(-) Limitations
Technical capacity is limited relative
to the extent of fires (insufficient fire
fighting personnel, poor monitoring);
Political power devolved to provincial
and local governments (loss of
authority in land use planning)

MEDIUM

PUBLIC SECTOR
- LOCAL AND
PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT

HIGH

(+) Incentives

(+) Strengths

Accountable to the demands from citizens and civil


society groups;

High financial capability after


decentralization process;
Discretion on environmental matters
(land allocation, issuance of business
permits, local regulations)

(-) Disincentives
Targeting investment to uplift socio-economic indicators in
rural areas;
Vested interests among government officials in land
permit issuance;

(-) Limitations
Limited capacity in terms of human
resources, fire rescue teams,
monitoring and surveillance
LOW

HIGH

NONGOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATIONS

(+) Incentives

(+) Strengths

Institutional objectives: policy advocacy and awareness


raising on environmental protection, denouncing malafide
practices in the private and public sectors;
Nothing to lose from fire reduction

Access to international networks and


media to increase pressure;
Extensive liaison with counterparts,
collective action

(-) Disincentives

(-) Limitations

Opposition to mitigation strategies that would negatively


impact vulnerable sectors of society (subsistence farmers)

Limited financial and human


resources;
Lack of external coordination with
government and business;
Propaganda elements that create
mistrust among public

High Power
Local and
Large
Provincial
Government Producers
Medium-size
Enterprise

Policy
Analysis

FIGURE 4: RELATIVE
DISTRIBUTION OF
STAKEHOLDERS
INTEREST AND POWER

Central
Government

NGOs
Smallholders

Low Power
Low Interest

High Interest
29 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 30

31 Landscape fires in Indonesia

ATTEMPTED SOLUTIONS
An array of solutions have been put forward with the aim of reducing landscape fires. Below is a brief summary of key
initiatives classified as public-sector or private-sector initiated. An excessive focus on fire suppression instead of fire
prevention, together with multiple constraints on implementation, has rendered most of these solutions highly ineffective.

PUBLIC SECTOR
Multilateral
Within the framework of the ASEAN
regional cooperation, member states
responded to the 1997 warning
call by adopting several regional
voluntary commitments, such as the
Regional Haze Action Plan,92 which
included the establishment of a Haze
Technical Task Force to provide
technical and advisory assistance
to affected parties.93 Subsequently,
ASEAN nations signed a legally
binding Agreement on Transboundary
Haze Pollution in 2002, albeit without
Indonesias ratification.94 The 2013
fire episode, brought Indonesia to
ratify the agreement, which is the
major commitment at the regional
level to date, pledging all members
to take bilateral and multilateral
steps towards making ASEAN a
haze-free region by 2020. The
agreement contains provisions in
connection to standard operating
procedures for joint emergency
response.95 The ASEAN approach
has been deemed very ineffective,
as it is primarily concerned with
respecting territorial sovereignty and
noninterference with the domestic
affairs of their members.96 Moreover,
the enacted legal instruments have
no real enforcement provisions or
formal stipulations for non-compliant
behaviors.
International governmental and

non-governmental institutions,
including the European Union,
the Asian Development Bank,
the United Nations Development
Program, and national development
aid agencies have extended
technical assistance programs to
the Indonesian government with the
aim to tackle landscape fires. Some
examples include the establishment
of early warning and detection
systems, trainings on land and fire
management, capacity building of
government officials in forest and
environment-related departments,
community-based conservation
projects, as well as provision of
remote sensing, GIS technology and
fire suppression equipments.97

Bilateral
Although Indonesia has shown
considerable reluctance to bilateral
assistance,98 there are some
instances in which the country
accepted cooperation from its
neighbors. In 2005, Singapore
contributed to the fire suppression
operations with a fire-fighter
contingent, an aircraft and highresolution satellite imagery.99 In 2007,
the governments of Singapore and
Indonesia agreed to implement
a joint action program in order to
prevent and manage fires in Jambi
province.100 Under this program,
which lasted until 2011, air quality
and weather monitoring systems
were installed and training on
fire prevention and suppression

92

ASEAN (1997)

96

Quah, E. and Varkkey, H. (2013)

93

Sunchindah, A. (1998)

97

Dennis, R. (1999)

94

Quah, E. and Varkkey, H. (2013)

98

Varkkey, H. (2009)

95

Lee Kuan Yew School of


Public Policy (2013)

99

National Environmental Agency (2014)

capabilities was provided to


government staff and communities.
In 2015, Singapores Civil Defence
Forces and fire rescue teams
directly took part in the operations
to suppress large scale forest fires
at the request of the Indonesian
government.101 Malaysia also
partnered with Indonesia during the
1997 fire crisis by sending firefighters
to beat out the flames,102 and in
2008 it signed a memorandum of
understanding with Riau province to
conduct fire-prevention programs.103

Unilateral
Several regulations in indonesia
prohibit the use of fire for land
clearing, including Director General
PHKA Decree No. 152/Kpts/
DJ-VI/1997, Ministry of Forestry
Decree No. 107/Kpts-II/1999,
Government Regulation No. 4/2001
on Management of Environmental
Degradation and/or Pollution linked
to Forest or Land Fires,104 and Law
No. 32/2009 on Environmental
Protection and Management.105 The
latter envisages penalties of fines and
prison terms for the illegal use of fire.
A significant step towards controlling
deforestation (and by extension
land clearing by fire) was the 2011
moratorium on the issuance of
new licences for the purpose of
agricultural plantations, renewed in
2013 and 2015.106 Furthermore, the
government is currently taking steps

National Environmental
Agency (2009)

103

101

Channel News Asia (2015)

104

National Environmental
Agency (2014)
Budi Indrarto, G. et al. (2012)

102

Petaling, J. (2015)

105

CIFOR (2013)

106

Greenpeace International
(2012); Austin, K. et al. (2014)

100

towards granting legal protection


to high conservation value forests
located within concession areas.107
Weak law enforcement renders the
above mentioned legal mechanisms
highly inefficacious.
Specific to the palm oil industry, a
nationwide certification program
known as the Indonesian Sustainable
Palm Oil was launched in 2014 from
a partnership between UNDP and
the Ministry of Agriculture to increase
the productivity of smallholders or
low income farmers by adopting
good agricultural practices in a
sustainable, legal and responsible
way. This initiative targets six palm oil
cooperatives and 2,200 smallholder
in Riau province in the current pilot
phase.108
Parallel to these efforts, a flagship
initiative known as the One Map
policy, which is directly overseen
by the President office, is also
expected to contribute to landscape
fire mitigation. One Map aims to
create a single, accurate, up-todate, publicly accessible online map
of land ownership tenure and use
in Indonesia. This initiative would
reduce the current confusion and
disputes over land and resource
ownership and management rights,
where many conflicting records are
handled by different government
bureaus and agencies that do not
share information among each
other.109 Despite the great potential
of this initiative, its implementation
is currently in a stalemate, for it has
been in the pipeline since 2011
without major advancement due to
bureaucratic bottlenecks.
Seeking a Coasian solution to the
issue,110 Singapore enacted the

Transboundary Haze Pollution Act


in 2014. Following the polluterpays principle, Singapore decided
to start imposing penalties on
companies responsible for the
creation of landscape fires affecting
its air quality.111 The bill is unusual
insofar as it claims jurisdiction over
entities that are neither registered
nor operating in Singapore, hence
creating extraterritorial liability.112
While this measure has the positive
effect of bringing public attention to
those companies most responsible
for slash and burn, it falls short of
expectations for several reasons.
The first one is that the regulation
caps penalties to perpetrators at $1.6
million, a dwarf quantity compared to
the revenue of companies working in
the agribusiness sector. The second
reason is that effective enforcement
of the regulation is likely to be
problematic, given the reliance on
GIS information to provide forensic
evidence of fires and the unclear
land ownership system in Indonesia.
Therefore, the impact of this unilateral
effort will necessarily be marginal.

Multiparty
The private sector has explored
market mechanisms to promote
sustainable production of agricultural
commodities in the Indonesian
context. This is the case of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm
Oil, an association composed of
various organizations from the
palm oil industry, including oil palm
producers, processors or traders,
consumer goods manufacturers,
retailers, banks and investors,
environmental or nature conservation
NGOs and social or developmental

Greenomics Indonesia (2015)

110

Quah, E. and Varkkey, H. (2013)

108

UNDP (2015)

111

Government of Singapore (2014)

109

Oxford Business Group (2014)

112

Tan, A. K. (2015)

The Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge


(IPOP) was until recently a partnership
by key players in the palm oil sector
which sought to go one step beyond
RSPO commitments.115 Due to the
transparency and sustainability
requirements imposed on third
party suppliers, coupled with the
difficult access to capital among
smallholders, the Indonesian
government did not warmly welcome
this initiative, which was dissolved by
its signatories in July 2016.116

Individual

PRIVATE SECTOR

107

NGOs, which has the purpose of


developing and implementing global
standards for sustainable palm oil.113
According to their voluntary pledge,
RSPO members must refrain from
using fire in their cultivation activities
and/or ensure that they purchase and
use fire-free palm oil. Research has
shown that company concessions
certified as sustainable by the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
have a markedly lower number of
fires, proving the effectiveness of this
initiative.114

Last but not least, several big


agribusiness companies are
progressively self-regulating
their operations with individual
commitments to sustainability,
including pledges to 0 burning, 0
deforestation, peatland protection
and restoration, and the like.117

114

Roundtable on Sustainable
Palm Oil (2015)
Zweynert, A. (2015)

115

Rahmawati, L. (2016)

113

116

Taylor, M. (2015)

117

Wilmar (2015); April Group


(2016)

Landscape fires in Indonesia 32

33 Landscape fires in Indonesia

PROPOSED POLICY OPTIONS


Based on the above analysis and interviews conducted with the different stakeholder groups, a series of alternative
policy options are presented in this section. These encompass private sector strategies to mitigate fires as well as public
policy frameworks that would contribute to the successful implementation of private sector initiatives. The description of
each private sector policy option is accompanied by an assessment of its potential for change, determined by the criteria
described in Table 7.
TABLE 7: ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
CRITERIA

DESCRIPTION

Feasibility

A measure of the viability of a policy option taking into account political, economic, business, social and
other constraints. Scoring: low-medium-high.

Response time

Speed of change from implementation to outcome of a policy option. Scoring: short-medium-long term.

Efficiency

Extent to which a policy option can maximize the ratio between number and cost of inputs on the one
hand, and outcomes on the other hand. Scoring: low-medium-high.

Sustainability

Extent to which the a policy impact is maintained over time. Scoring: low-medium-high.

Effectiveness

Compound measure of a policy impact factoring in the above criteria. Scoring: low-medium-high.

A. Multi-stakeholder
partnership for fire
prevention at the regency
level
In March 2016 a voluntary
partnership known as the Fire Free
Alliance (FFA) was forged, bringing
together big companies in the pulp
and paper and palm oil sector as
well as several NGOs.118 April Group,
one of the founding members of the
FFA, has been implementing since
2013 a Fire Free Village Program
in Riau Province, which targets
high-risk, fire-prone communities
inside or surrounding the company
concession areas by providing
monetary incentives, assistance
for land clearing and awareness
raising mechanisms. The members
of the FFA are currently exploring
how to scale up the coverage of this
program, which has resulted in a
significant reduction of fire incidence
in targeted villages.
Implementing partnerships such
as the FFA at the regency level

118

April Group (2016)

in multiple provinces would likely


generate an equally beneficial impact.
There is a need to involve local
governments in this initiative too,
with the aim of pooling economic
resources to enhance fire prevention,
share know-how and build capacity
across sectors.

partnership would entail for them.

Feasibility: The challenge to


enabling such multi-stakeholder
partnerships is the geographical
dispersion of companies operations,
which would make it difficult to agree
on target communities and shared
resource mobilization. Private sector
entities are operating following
different business models. Some
of them have large concessions
areas dwelled by well-established
communities, whereas others rely
on a large number of third party
suppliers whose location is very
difficult to trace. Furthermore, it would
be difficult to coopt medium and
small size companies to participate in
these partnerships, given their overall
low level of interest in fire reduction
and the lack of incentives that this

Efficiency: Economies of scale


would be generated through merging
of labour and capital, and spillover
effects would be expected from
inputs into outcomes.

Response time: Partnerships can


set annual targets to monitor and
evaluate their progress towards
achieving fire prevention. From April
Groups experience, the outcomes
are visible on a yearly basis.

Sustainability: The partnership


should aim at creating resilient
communities so that when activities
are phased out, a behavioral
change has occurred regarding
fire prevention. In order to avoid
the risk of rebound effects, the
partnership could envisage long-term
mechanisms to support smallholders,
especially in capital intensive
processes, such as land clearing.
Leasing of agricultural equipment
would be a suitable option to explore
in the phasing out stage.

Effectiveness: This policy option


shifts the emphasis from suppression
to prevention, which is the longterm solution to landscape fires. It
addresses the root causes of the
problem and it relies on coordinated
action and economies of scale within
a regency. Overall, it is expected to
be a highly effective alternative.

B. Access to formal
agricultural credit for
smallholders
Limited access to finance is one of
the identified bottlenecks preventing
smallholders to use alternative land
clearing methods. Institutionalized
access to credit would allow farmers
to adopt sophisticated farming
techniques through acquiring
machinery, fertilizers, pesticides
and herbicide that would substitute
the use of fire. It would also allow
smallholders to afford official
sustainability certifications for their
products, especially in the case of
palm oil. Providing formal channels
to credit would ensure affordability of
interest rates, flexibility of payments,
and risk transfer through affordable
crop insurances or agricultural
guarantee funds. The implementing
parties of this policy option could
be partnerships comprising
private sector companies, financial
institutions and NGOs, the latter
linking smallholders with credit
granters, and helping to ensure
capacity development in financial
matters.
Feasibility: Moral hazard is a
risk commonly associated with
agricultural credit among farmers
with small landholdings. Conditional
credits would help overcome the
problem of asymmetric information,
through strict monitoring and
reporting mechanisms on a
quarterly or semestral basis.
Furthermore, implementation would
be challenging without a higher rate
of farmer aggregation, in which case

transaction costs would significantly


decrease.
Response time: Once access to
credit is provided and smallholders
purchase the required agricultural
inputs, change is expected to occur
in the short to medium term.
Efficiency: Due to the current
scarcity of formal smallholder
agricultural cooperatives, this policy
option would be fairly input intensive.
Sustainability: Eased access to
formal credit would help increase
productivity of smallholding farmers
in the long run, thus creating spillover
effects in the form of increased
incomes, which would encourage
further investment of farmers in
agricultural inputs and R&D.

B, moral hazard is a risk incurred


when developing microfinance
schemes. Without proper monitoring
systems, finance could be deviated
to purposes other than alternative
livelihoods, thus perpetuating
dependence on agriculture and
failing to prevent slash and burn.
Insufficient levels of education and
financial literacy could likewise
hinder the materialization of
micro business projects. For this
reason, capacity building of local
communities should be encouraged
through collaborations with reliable
microfunding institutions and NGOs.
Response time: A structural shift
from crop-based livelihoods to small
industries and services is expected
to take several years, ranging from 5
to 15.

Effectiveness: The effectiveness of


this policy option is dependent on the
conditional nature of credit and higher
levels of farmer aggregation. If these
obstacles could be overcome, the
impact of the policy on fire reduction
could be immense, as financial
constraints are one of the key root
causes of the persistence of slash
and burn among smallholders.

Efficiency: Microfinance is by nature


labor and knowledge intensive, as
it requires a thorough assessment
of the projects to be funded, as
well as monitoring of performance
and recovery of loans. It is difficult
to envisage economies of scale
for this policy option. Therefore the
ratio between quantity of inputs and
impact is relatively high.

C. Access to microfinance to
foster alternative livelihoods

Sustainability: Affordable cost of


financing is a vital component for the
continuation of this program.

The livelihoods of rural populations


are highly dependent on crop
production, a fact that creates
additional pressure on land utilization,
which in turn spurs land clearing by
fire. In order to ease this pressure,
it is essential to provide alternative
livelihoods to rural inhabitants through
microfinance schemes. Funding for
entrepreneurial activities and small
business such as dairy, poultry or
fish farming, transportation services,
skill trainings, home-based industries
could be channeled as part of CSR
programs.
Feasibility: Similar to policy option

Effectiveness: The capacity of


microfinance schemes channeled
through companies CSR strategies
could contribute to the reduction of
dependence from agriculture among
rural populations, but only at a limited
scale considering the aforementioned
constraints.

D. Participatory mapping
of land ownership/tenure
and promotion of land title
certification for smallholders
Companies operating in large
concession areas have a strategic

Landscape fires in Indonesia 34

interest to understand the status


of land tenure, ownership and land
claims of communities living inside
and in bordering areas as a first step
to reduce the risk of fire. The same
holds true for companies that largely
rely on third party suppliers whose
location and land tenure are highly
uncertain. Some of the interviewed
palm oil companies source up to
90% of their supply from third parties,
creating a great challenge in terms
of monitoring and verification of 0
burning policies.
Under policy option D, companies
would engage small farmers and
villagers in participatory mapping
exercises to draw detailed maps of
land holdings. Application of GPS
technology could help streamline
this process. On the basis of such
maps, companies would encourage
villagers and farmers to get certified
land titles. Accurate information on
land ownership/tenure would help
reduce the free rider problem in
fire ignition by clarifying allocation
of responsibility. It would also help
monitor the activities of suppliers
closely and ensure their commitment
with 0 burning policies (including
potential blacklisting of non-compliant
suppliers).
Feasibility: While implementing
this policy option, obstacles could
emerge in the form of conflicting
claims over land ownership within
communities. Other unfavorable
factors would be communities
uncooperative attitudes due to lack
of trust or lack of understanding of
the value of the mapping exercise
to them. In the case of companies
working with third party suppliers,

119

Landesa (2012)

35 Landscape fires in Indonesia

the challenge would be having


agricultural intermediaries and
palm oil processing mills disclose
information suppliers location. At
present time, these actors have
a high bargaining power, since
they can find alternative buyers
with less demanding sustainability
requirements. Last but not least,
governmental actors should show
willingness to cooperate in the
process of legalizing and certifying
smallholders land property.
Response time: This policy would
yield results in the medium term.
Community engagement is expected
to be fairly time consuming before
a proper map at the village level
can be drawn, considering as well
the geographical spreadness of
smallholders and communities.
Efficiency: Implementing parties
would not incur large capital costs to
develop this policy option. However,
community engagement is expected
to be labor intensive.
Sustainability: Even though this
is a one-off exercise, a follow-up
mechanism should be put in place to
keep track of changes in land tenure
and ownership. A yearly verification
round could help accomplish this
goal.
Effectiveness: In spite of the
implementation constraints of this
policy option, its effects would go
largely beyond disincentivizing the
use of fire. Formal land ownership
has been found to encourage
willingness to adopt productivityenhancing inputs and investments.119

120

Gingold, B. et al. (2012)

E. Phasing out plantations


from peatland
Policy option E would involve a
gradual relocation of plantations
away from peatland areas in order
to avoid the risk of fire ignition and
spread. Degraded mineral soils have
been identified as suitable alternative
landscapes for oil palm cultivation.120

peat soils. The recently created


Peatland Restoration Agency is in
fact starting to explore these policy
alternatives.121 Furthermore, newly
rewet peatland would be vulnerable
to land encroachment in the absence

Efficiency: The cost and quantity of


inputs necessary to bring about this
change is expected to be huge, for
which reason the input output ratio
would be very high.
Sustainability: In order to ensure
the long term effect of this policy
option, parallel interventions
concerning peatland restoration,
rewetting and reforestation of soils
should be envisaged, together with
the promotion of alternative crops that
are suitable for cultivation in unaltered

Effectiveness: This policy option


would tackle one of the contextual
causes of landscape fires in
Indonesia. However, it would oppose

current business interests and it


would involve multiple challenges to
implementation. Therefore, the real
impact of this alternative is difficult to
confirm.

TABLE 8: SUMMARY OF THE POLICY OPTIONS ASSESSED


Cri
t
Po eria
licy

Feasibility: In the current scenario,


companies have large assets in
peat soils. It is estimated that 10%
of Indonesias peat in Borneo and
Sumatra are planted with oil palm.
Although some of the leading
sustainability champions in the
agribusiness sector are already
committing to not expanding their
operations in peatland, phasing out
all operations from peat soils would
require a huge investment of capital,
which should be subsidized or
compensated by the public sector.
Response time: The
implementation of this policy option
would require a long period of time,
since it would fundamentally alter
current agricultural practices.

of proper monitoring and protection.

Feasibility

Response
time

Efficiency

Sustainability

Effectiveness

A
B
C
D
E

High / Short Term

Conducive public policy


frameworks
There is consensus among
representatives of the different
stakeholder groups interviewed for
this study, including governmental
actors, that weak law enforcement
and insufficient public monitoring is
severely hindering fire prevention in
Indonesia. Stepping up monitoring
and law enforcement is critical
to redress the behavior of those
producers which have the financial
resources to avoid using slash
and burn methods, but are not
incentivised to use alternative
means due to the lack of effective

121

Jong, H. N. (2016)

Medium / Medium Term

punishment. Similarly, the perception


of legal impunity ought to be brought
to an end by stepping up efforts to
fight corruption in the judiciary, police
and state bureaucracy, especially
at the provincial and local levels.
Another aspect which enhanced
monitoring and law enforcement
should address is the lucrative illegal
market for burned land, which is
currently selling at premium prices:
from an average of $660 per hectare
(in the case of slash and cut land) to
$860 (for slash and burned plots).122
Furthermore, the legal provisions
under Law No. 32/2009 on
Environmental Protection and

122

Fogarty, D. (2015)

Low / Long Term


Management that allow small scale
burning should be revised. A total
ban on open burning accompanied
with an incentive mechanism for
smallholder farmers could be a
first good step towards behavioral
change to modify behaviors and
curbing of fires. Similarly, the One
Map initiative should be brought to
completion and concession maps
should be made publicly available.
Increased transparency would put
pressure on business to comply
with 0 burning policies, as opposed
to the current situation, where the
non-disclosure policy creates a moral
hazard problem.

Landscape fires in Indonesia 36

Last but not least, the government


could streamline the process of land
allocation to businesses. Potential
options to explore in this regard
would encompass centralizing the
permit issuance under one single

land use agency; using technology


to share information about allocated
land management rights across
ministries; allotting smaller areas of
land under each business permit; as
well as documenting land use on the

ground (presence of communities,


status of their land tenure) before
licensing land to companies.

Conclusion
FINAL POLICY OPTIONS
The scoring matrix suggests the
following ranking of policy options,
from most to least effective::

Notwithstanding this, given the


complexity of landscape fires, a
comprehensive and coordinated
approach to problem-solving

MOST
EFFECTIVE

LEAST
EFFECTIVE

Multi-stakeholder partnership
for fire prevention at the
regency level
Access to formal agricultural
credit for smallholders
Participatory mapping of
land ownership/tenure
and promotion of land title
certification for smallholders
Access to microfinance to foster
alternative livelihoods
Phasing out plantations from
peatland

that would target several key root


causes at once would be the most
appropriate way to proceed. Many
of the policy options described
above would reinforce each other
if implemented jointly, leading to
a greater impact than if pursued
separately.
Cross-sector partnerships are
crucial for the efficiency, efficacy
and sustainability of the policy
options outlined. Multi-stakeholder
partnerships help streamline
implementation by creating
economies of scale (avoiding
redundancy in inputs), and by sharing
best practices and know-how.

8
37 Landscape fires in Indonesia

39 Landscape fires in Indonesia


Landscape fires in Indonesia 38

As the 2016 fire season develops,


a lack of consensus regarding
problem diagnosis and actionable
insights continues to delay a much
needed game change. Rising to
the challenge, the private sector
possesses both the strategic
interest and the required capacity
to catalyze this change. With a
view to contribute to this end, this
study has identified the main causal

Subsequently, this study has


analyzed the diverse interests of
key stakeholder groups towards
fire reduction, and factored this
information and the previous causal
chain analysis into the assessment
of five policy options. These include
spearheading multi-stakeholder
partnerships for fire prevention
activities; easing access to formal
agricultural credit for smallholders;

regulations and land allocation


practices. An all-encompassing
strategy to problem solving is
prescribed to face the wicked
problem of landscape fires, as the
sum of convergent policy options
would generate a greater impact than
individual policies implemented in
isolation.

Annex and
References
mechanisms underlying landscape
fires in Indonesia, and has proposed
a set of policy options for the private
sector to take the lead. Direct causes
encompass a universe of interlinked
factors spurring the use of fire for
land clearing and for disputes over
land ownership and use, as well as
accidental ignitions. Indirect causes
take into account the ecological,
climatic and economic contexts in
which fires occur.

engaging fire-prone communities in


participatory mapping exercises to
delimit and certify their land; providing
microfinance to rural populations to
opt out of agriculture; and last but not
least, gradually shifting agricultural
activities away from peat soils.
Private sector initiatives need to
be supported by conducive public
sector interventions in the domains
of law enforcement, fire-related

9
39 Landscape fires in Indonesia

41 Landscape fires in Indonesia


41 Landscape fires in Indonesia

Landscape fires in Indonesia 40

ANNEX

SURVEY RESULTS
A total of 21 respondents took part in
the initial assessment survey, which
sought to measure their perception
of landscape fires and resulting
haze pollution. The table below

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research has been conducted
using a mixed methodology,
combining a qualitative approach
with quantitative analysis tools.
Qualitative research techniques
such as snowball sampling, in-depth
interviews and direct observation
were used to facilitate access to
primary information. Data gathered
from interviews and focus group
discussions are considered to have
limited scientific validity in social
research, and hence they are seldom
used for quantitative assessments.
In spite of this, some descriptive
statistical analysis tools were used
to organize the findings, with no
aspiration of being representative
from a statistical point of view.

Reaching stakeholders
through snowball sampling
Snowball sampling is a nonprobabilistic scientific method widely
used in qualitative studies. In contrast
to probabilistic sample methods,
snowball sampling does not allow
to capture a robust random sample
to infer the characteristics of a
population with statistical significance.
Snowball sampling, however, allows
to locate and identify members of

the targeted population which have


not been previously identified or
are difficult to locate or contacted.
Moreover, compared to other nonprobabilistic sampling methods
such as the judgment method or
the convenience method, snowball
sampling provides more purposeful
sampling units to the researcher,
because it does not focus on easily
identifiable or reachable members
of population. During the first field
trip, an initial group of stakeholders
in Riau province was identified using
this method, and they became the
source and linkage with further
stakeholders who participated in the
study.

Interview and survey with


selected stakeholders
Each identified stakeholder in
the first field trip was personally
interviewed and asked to complete
a questionnaire consisting of 13
questions, 5 of which were open
ended. Attention was paid to keep
the questionnaire simple and logical
in order to facilitate the decoding
and transformation of responses into
binary variables.

Yulianti, N. et al. (2012)

124

International Institute for Asian Studies (2013)

125

Badan Pusat Statistik Indonesia (2013)

Landscape fires in Indonesia 40

used in this section only refer to


the distribution of responses and
are not meant to be statistically
representative.

Direct observation method


Direct observation allows researchers
to document activities and behaviors
without having to depend upon
people's willingness or ability to
respond to questions. Both field trips
and rounds of stakeholder interviews
were documented with support of
ICT equipments to minimize error and
bias.
The geographical focus of the
research has been Riau province.
Riau has been for years a major
contributor to the landscape fire
problem.123 Due to its geographical
proximity with Singapore and
Malaysia, the effects of fires in Riau
usually have a direct international
impact. This is especially significant
taking into account that peatlands
in Riau have been largely exploited
for agricultural purposes, generating
considerable haze pollution.124
Riau is also the second province in
Indonesia by number of plantation
companies, estimated at 194,
and employed labor force (88,699
workers).125 Oil palm, industrial timber
and rubber plantations are present in
Riau.

TABLE 9: SURVEY RESPONSE FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION


TYPE OF
STAKEHOLDER

COMPANIES

GOVERNMENT

CIVIL SOCIETY
& NGOS

SMALLHOLDERS

TOTAL

Frequency

14

21

Percentage

15

10

65

10

100

Perception of the problem


and its impact
An overwhelming majority of
stakeholders agreed that landscape
fires and resulting haze pollution is
a serious policy issue. 85% strongly
subscribed to the statement, while
rest of respondents simply agreed
with it. Stakeholders opinions were
segregated when identifying the
main effect of fires. 4 of respondents
thought health issues were the
most serious consequence, while
another 45% were of the opinion
that greenhouse gas emissions
and climate change were the worst
outcome.

Fixing responsibility
Interestingly, 60% of stakeholders
targeted palm oil companies in
response to the query about the
main player in the landscape fire
issue, whereas 20% thought that the

123

describes the frequency distribution


of stakeholders, classified in the
four pre-identified groups: business
entities, government, civil society
and smallholders. Percentage figures

government was actively or passively


more responsible. Focusing on
private sector responsibility alone,
58% of answers attributed the
larger share of blame to the palm oil
industry, whereas 27% mentioned
the pulp and paper industry. An
overwhelming majority of almost
70% of respondents believed that
the Indonesian government has
not taken enough steps to curb the
related problem of deforestation.
It is pertinent to mention that
many respondents were unable to
determine with precision which level
of government is most liable to take
action against fires.

Efforts, gaps and hindrances


Respondents also expressed their
views on the efforts made by the
government thus far, and the gaps
that still exist to counter the issue of
landscape fires. 50% of the answers
suggested that the government has

invested the lions share of public


efforts in monitoring and verification,
while rest mentioned law and
enforcement. Paradoxically, the same
trend of answers was observed when
characterizing the areas that the
government had invested the least in.
As for the main obstacles in the fight
against fires, 48% of respondents
pointed to poor monitoring and law
enforcement along with political
corruption and bribery (32%).

Solutions
The final questions called for an
open ended answer to understand
the stakeholders perceptions on the
opportunities that different actors
could seize in the future in order to
curb landscape fires in Indonesia.
The matrix below summarizes the
stakeholders specific comments and
suggestions.

Landscape fires in Indonesia 42

43 Landscape fires in Indonesia

REFERENCES

TABLE 10: STAKEHOLDER GROUPS SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRE REDUCTION


TYPE OF STAKEHOLDER

SUGGESTIONS TO REDUCE LANDSCAPE FIRES

Business entities

Establishing a fire-free village mechanism to incentivize communities to curb and


manage their villages without fire
Stronger government-to-government pressure to increase political will of Indonesian
state to deal with this issue
Step-up a robust monitoring mechanism

Government

Forest restoration programs


Enhanced law enforcement
Improved fire monitoring systems




Increase public awareness, education about the consequences of fires and haze
Better land management and licensing processes
Curbing corruption and enhancing law enforcement
Moratorium on new permits
Rehabilitation of peat land, including through canal blocking to increase the level of the
water table underground
Companies to reforest burned land
Biannual environmental audit report submitted by palm oil companies to be verified by
the government in order to check consistency and reliability
Concentrated monitoring of places vulnerable to fire

Civil Society & NGOs

Collaboration between government, companies and public


Enhancement of productivity in order to decrease land expansion

Smallholders

INTERVIEWS
TABLE 11: CLASSIFICATION OF INTERVIEWEES IN STAKEHOLDER GROUPS
TYPE OF
STAKEHOLDER

COMPANIES

GOVERNMENT

CIVIL SOCIETY
& NGOS

SMALLHOLDERS

TOTAL

Frequency

19

29

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A BO UT
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