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CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Livelihoods, fire and policy in eastern Indonesia

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Indonesian legislation calls for a zero-burning policy. This approach to fire management is largely in response to significant negative impacts on the economy and the environment, not only in Indonesia but also the neighbouring region, that result annually from peat fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra. In this context, the present paper investigates the local use and management of fire in Flores and Sumba islands in eastern Indonesia. Our appraisals show that people's livelihoods depend on fire to maintain grasslands and, therefore, that the national policy and legislation for zero-burning is inappropriate and needs to be revised. This follows from the fact that not all fires cause damage and are unwanted. Through a series of rapid rural appraisal interviews, we found that the fires in grasslands are often lit intentionally to maintain the grasslands that local people use to sustain a variety of livelihood activities such as cattle rearing, hunting and farming. Although fires can damage or destroy remnant dry forests in eastern Indonesia, in order to be effective, future policy formulations need to account for this human livelihood dimension and the geographic variation in fuels, climate and land use.

DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9493.2006.00240.x
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    Publication year

    2006

    Authors

    Tacconi, L.; Ruchiat, Y.

    Language

    English

    Keywords

    agricultural production, forest fires, livelihoods, rural communities, socioeconomics, conflict, grasslands, sustainability, controlled burning, social changes, policy

    Geographic

    Indonesia

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