Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Less haze in Singapore as the cause becomes clearer and more complex

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Summary:
Small and large-scale farmers in Riau province, Sumatra, have been blamed for the recent choking smoke smothering Singapore and parts of Malaysia. But scientists in Indonesia have added a third category of 'mid-level entrepreneurs'. These entrepreneurs buy unregulated access to land for oil palm and clear it by burning, seemingly unrestrained by government.

Small and large-scale farmers in Riau province, Sumatra, have been blamed for the recent choking smoke smothering Singapore and parts of Malaysia. But scientists in Indonesia have added a third category of 'mid-level entrepreneurs'. These entrepreneurs buy unregulated access to land for oil palm and clear it by burning, seemingly unrestrained by government.

Scientists at the World Agroforestry Centre, who have been studying land conversion in Sumatra, say they have identified this third group of local land investors who operate outside the government system, making them potentially more difficult to regulate.

These people acquire land under informal rules at village level, effectively sidestepping the Government land-use system. They bring in their own labour to clear the land for oil palm, regardless of the land's formal government status and in the absence of any permits to do so.

Policies and policing need to be adjusted to deal with the newly identified group if the annual fires and subsequent haze are to be reduced. Holding plantation companies accountable for the fires within their boundaries would help reduce the problem but not extinguish it.

About half of the fire 'hot spots' in Riau province are on land with legal permits for large-scale operations (industrial timber, oil palm and logging). The rest occur as part of illegal activities, in areas which have been slated for conservation or non-production.

These hot spots are mostly concentrated in three districts within Riau province. Some neighbouring districts with similar conditions have so far avoided the problem this year, which suggests that lessons might be learnt about governance.

The fire-haze episode straddling the Strait of Malacca in June 2013 has reignited a decades-long debate about responsibility. In the current debate, finger pointing still alternates between the small- and large-scale agricultural operators. The latter include companies with headquarters in Singapore and Malaysia, where the undesirable haze accompanies the financial returns on their investments.

Before 1998, the blame for starting the fires was put exclusively on smallholders' 'shifting cultivation' techniques, with large-scale plantations and development projects protected from any criticism by the government.

But the 1997/8 fires in Sumatra and the change of regime in Indonesia threw new light onto the debate and it became evident that burning was the cheapest option widely used by all farmers, whether on a small or large scale or on peat or mineral soils.

Further information: http://worldagroforestrycentre.org/regions/southeast_asia/publications?do=view_pub_detail&pub_no=PB0064-13


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). "Less haze in Singapore as the cause becomes clearer and more complex." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103440.htm>.
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). (2013, July 8). Less haze in Singapore as the cause becomes clearer and more complex. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103440.htm
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). "Less haze in Singapore as the cause becomes clearer and more complex." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103440.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins