Fire Module:
Early Warning and Response to Peatland Fires in Central Kalimantan

Identify the Problem

In Kalimantan, Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia, fire has long been an integral part of agricultural practice and food production, providing fertility to soil while helping to clear land for cultivation. However, uncontrolled spread of fire poses a serious risk to public health, livelihoods, and conservation efforts in Indonesia. In 1997-98, peatland fires resulted in major regional haze, thousands of hospitalizations, and an estimated $5-10 billion in economic losses. According to published research (Nature, 2002), these fires accounted for the equivalent of 13-40% of global carbon emissions from fossil fuels during that time. The peatlands of Central Kalimantan province have undergone dramatic ecological and social change over past decades. Millions of hectares have been drained and converted from forest to agricultural land and palm plantations. These lands are at a much greater risk of uncontrolled fire spread particularly from June to October.

In this module, you will investigate the relationship between fire in Central Kalimantan province and climate/environmental factors, and then decide which one(s) you will use to develop an early warning system.