Catastrophe and Regeneration in Indonesia’s Peatlands: Ecology, Economy and Society

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Edited by Kosuke Mizuno, Motoko S. Fujita and Shuichi Kawai
Contributions by Retno Kusumaningtyas, Hiromitsu Samejima, Kazuo Watanabe, Tetsuya Shimamura, Kazuya Masuda, Kosuke Mizuno, Kaoru Sugihara, Shigeo Kobayashi, Haruka Suzuki, Osamu Kozan, Ahmad Muhammad and Haris Gunawan

The serious degradation of the vast peatlands of Indonesia since the 1990s is the proximate cause of the haze that endangers public health in Indonesian Sumatra and Borneo, and also in neighbouring Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Moreover peatlands that have been drained and cleared for plantations are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

This new book explains the degradation of peat soils and outlines a potential course of action to deal with the catastrophe looming over the region. Concerted action will be required to reduce peatland fires, and a successful policy needs to enhance social welfare and economic survival, support natural conservation and provide a return on investment if there is to be a sustainable society in the peatlands.

This book argues that regeneration is possible through a new policy of people’s forestry that includes reforestation and rewetting peat soils. The data come from a major long-term research effort—the humanosphere project—that coordinates work done by researchers from the physical, natural and human or social sciences.

To understand the impact of this research on Indonesia's urgent national efforts to stop the fires and rehabilitate the peatlands, see this article in the Jakarta Post, announcing an MOU signed between project editor Prof Mizuno and the Peatlands Rehabilitation Agency.

"...for those (scholars) who are interested in the annual forest conflagrations, in peat swamps forests and their fate, and in suggestions for their regeneration, this book is a must read." - Peter Boomgaard, KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Carribean Studies

"... a welcome new voice in the search for solutions to the region’s most pressing environmental hazard." - Johannes Nugroho, Jakarta Globe

"With 54% of Indonesian peatland already opened for agriculture, this volume will become increasingly important as a way to comprehensively examine sustainable restoration and economic development in Indonesia’s many other peat swamps." - James Erbaugh, The Jakarta Post

Kosuke Mizuno is professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. 
Motoko S. Fujita is researcher at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. 
Shuichi Kawai is professor at the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University. 

Kyoto CSEAS Series on Asian Studies 15
Publication Year: 2016
512 pages, 229mm x 152mm
30 photographs, 80 maps and diagrams
ISBN: 978-981-4722-09-4

NUS Press and Kyoto University Press

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