Towards a transnational approach to transboundary haze pollution: governing traditional farming in fire-prone regions of Indonesia

Shawkat Alam, Laely Nurhidayah*, Michelle Lim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Indonesia, swidden practices have been part of traditional rice farming for centuries. Swidden agriculture is a fundamental part of all remaining large tropical forests and provides a critical form of biodiversity-friendly agriculture. Meanwhile, peatland degradation and land conversion for oil palm plantation and agriculture have created an annual transboundary environmental disaster in Southeast Asia. This article adopts a transnational lens to highlight the complex multi-scale interactions that perpetuate recurring transboundary air pollution in the region. Having examined the traditional practices of swidden agriculture in Central Kalimantan and South Sumatra (Indonesia), the article reveals that swidden agriculture has been misunderstood generally, and in particular in international and national law and policy. It argues that existing laws fail to identify the important role that swidden agriculture plays in sustainable ecosystem management and cultural expression. Nuanced understandings of fire use, alongside transnational multi-stakeholder and multi-scale approaches, are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-450
Number of pages27
JournalTransnational Environmental Law
Volume12
Issue number2
Early online date5 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • traditional ecological knowledge
  • swidden agriculture
  • transboundary haze
  • peatland restoration
  • science and technology
  • multi-stakeholder platform
  • transnational governance

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