In that letter, we identified that fire was being used not only as a tool to clear land cheaply but also as a weapon to claim property ownership when Indonesia's governance system was more centralized than it is today. The recurrence of fire and trans-boundary haze was then, and remains today, not only a problem but also a symptom of complex governance issues. Indonesian politicians and bureaucrats say that fire is a natural phenomenon, like recent major outbreaks of fire in Australia and the United States. It is true that Indonesia's peatl ands experience fires that go out of control in severe El Niño events. But most of the fires of past decades were deliberately lit by companies or their agents to clear land for the development of plantation crops.
Authors: Murdiyarso, D.; Tacconi, L.
Publication type: Newspaper Article, Un-refereed