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The Role of Fire in Changing Land Use and Livelihoods in Riau-Sumatra

S. Suyanto, World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
Grahame Applegate
Rizki Pandu Permana
Noviana Khususiyah
Iwan Kurniawan


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Results from remote sensing analysis, participatory mapping, socio-economic interviews, and hotspot information that were analyzed in a geographic information system (GIS) show how fire has changed the landscape through its use in land preparation for oil palm and timber plantations and in the development of transmigration settlements. These timber and oil palm plantations have greatly altered the livelihood options of the communities, and have created conflict between communities and companies over land-use allocation and tenure. In many cases, conflict over tenure has been the motive for forest and land fires during the annual dry season. The study suggests that, where partnerships between communities and companies were established to develop oil palm and timber plantations that included a greater sharing of benefits and use of land, the incidence of fires designed to damage the planted resource was greatly reduced.

Key words

Forest fire, Indonesia, Land fire, Oil palm plantation, Partnership, Sumatra, Tenure conflict, Timber plantation

Copyright © 2004 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087