Advocacy Resources

Forest fire hotspots in Indonesia

26 Mar 2018
Asia-Pacific SDG Partnership

Fire hotspots peak when this burning coincides with the dry season (June to September). In very dry years – for example, during droughts, El Niño events or positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions – the fires are even greater in scale and ferocity. In these years, farmers often take advantage of the dry conditions to burn more land, exacerbating the problem further. In Sumatra and Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of Borneo), there are extensive oil palm and timber concessions, where burning is common. Indonesia also has the largest area of tropical peatland in the world, most of which is in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Once drained, the dry peatland burns easily, and the fires are difficult to extinguish. Poor land management and governance allow burning to continue.