Optimism for sustainable peatland agriculture is here - and growing
Due to El Niño events, the rainfall pattern in Indonesia has changed. During the dry season, rainfall is reduced, causing severe drought. And when this kind of drought occurs, we usually face severe land and forest fires. The smog from the fires affects not only the country, but also spreads across the region. When the dry season of 2019 ended, around 1.65 million hectares had been burned. This is a slight decrease compared to fires in 2015, where 2.6 million hectares were burned.
I was born and raised in Kalimantan, the Borneo part of Indonesia. From 2016 to 2019, I had the opportunity to work in West Kalimantan doing conservation work on Gunung Palung National Park. I clearly remember that in September 2019, I had to wear an N95 mask for every outdoor activity. The thick smoke from fire mass, mostly from the peatland, came with the wind to the populated areas. At that time, around one million people were diagnosed with an acute respiratory infection…