How an Indonesian Peatland Project Is Offering a New Way to Curb Forest Fires

30 September 2013

The residents of Jabiren faced a nervous wait in October last year as fires raged in the peatlands around their village.

“Fire stormed this area — including that land across from here,” said Muhrizal Sarwani, the head of the Agricultural Land Resources Agency (BBSLDP), pointing at an abandoned field across a nearby ditch. “All other places were affected by the fire, except for this site.”

While other tranches of land in the area — peat, mostly — were degraded by a particularly uncompromising fire in 2005 that laid waste to the forest covering, this five-hectare plot is still standing. Now, the government and environmentalists believe that the lessons learned here can be put to work at lessening the impact of one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems — Indonesia’s ticking carbon time bomb.

Read more from the Jakarta Globe here