How do invested efforts alter perceptions and actual behavior towards fire usage on tropical peatlands? A comparative study across three districts in Indonesia

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Nafila Izazaya Idrus , Acep Akbar, Agus Kurniawan , Laura Graham, Grahame Applegate

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Land conversion, drought season, and logging were the main factors that led to the extensive Indonesian peatland fires in 2015 . The events caused major adverse effects in the environment, economy and public health. In order to mitigate the peat drainage and reverse the land conversion, Indonesian government has implemented various fire prevention schemes, including the establishment of the Badan Restorasi Gambut (BRG РPeat Restoration Agency) and Manggala Agni. However, the 2019 El Nino event led to further peatland fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Fires are caused by human activities to obtain natural resources from the peatland area, despite the ban on fire usage. We propose that socio-economic factors also influence the communities fire behaviour. Understanding the community’s reasons and motivations towards fire ignition and usage are needed to improve targeted fire management approaches. Therefore, in this study, we will explore both the perceived and actual changes of community members towards fire practices and behaviour, directly analysed against the quantified amounts of effort to bring about that change (education, capacity, resources, punishment). Data will be collected in three fire-prone districts in Indonesia: Kapuas, Tumbang Nusa, and Ogan Komering Ilir. Community questionnaires and stakeholder census will be used as data collection. Quantification of the actual fires and fire behaviour will be assessed using Fire Scene Evaluation data, fire hotspot and fire cover maps. We present this novel methodology, and anticipate the findings will be used to help improve targeted, community-friendly approaches which facilitate local people to control and minimize burning.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program