Fire and haze

Once a cost-effective tool used by smallholder farmers to clear land, fire is becoming an annual crisis in Indonesia’s peatlands, the Amazon forest and other parts of the world. CIFOR’s approach targets both multi-level policies and grassroots action.


Farmers have used fire to clear land for agriculture for centuries, and it’s still the cheapest option for many. But whether they’re lit by smallholders, local elites or large corporations, fires can get out of control, destroying forests or creating a toxic haze that can blanket several countries for months.

Through scientific analysis, targeted outreach activities and proactive engagement with everyone from smallholders to ministers, CIFOR has helped build a consensus on the best ways to reduce the risk of peatland fires in Indonesia – while building communities’ ability to farm without lighting a match.

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