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Catastrophe and Regeneration in Indonesia’s Peatlands

Ecology, Economy and Society

The serious degradation of the vast peatlands of Indonesia since the 1990s is the proximate cause of the haze that endangers public health in Indonesian Sumatra and Borneo, and also in neighbouring Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Moreover peatlands that have been drained and cleared for plantations are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

        This new book explains the degradation of peat soils and outlines a potential course of action to deal with the catastrophe looming over the region. Concerted action will be required to reduce peatland fires, and a successful policy needs to enhance social welfare and economic survival, support natural conservation and provide a return on investment if there is to be a sustainable society in the peatlands.

        This book argues that regeneration is possible through a new policy of people’s forestry that includes reforestation and rewetting peat soils. The data come from a major long-term research effort—the humanosphere project—that coordinates work done by researchers from the physical, natural and human or social sciences.

512 pages | 30 color plates, 22 tables, 80 | 6 x 9 | © 2016

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

Biological Sciences: Ecology

Earth Sciences: Environment

Economics and Business: Economics--Agriculture and Natural Resources

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“Sixteen papers reappraise the history and ecosystems of tropical Southeast Asia and the local knowledge and initiatives of the local people, focusing on the damage done to the peat swamps in Sumatra, and analyze the state of deforestation and environmental degradation as part of the regeneration of tropical biomass societies and a sustainable humanosphere.”

Journal of Economic Literature

“For those seeking to learn more about the environmental, economic, and social significance of oil palm production and peatland agriculture. . . Catastrophe and Regeneration in Indonesia’s Peatlands offers an in-depth case study of peatland ecosystems, regeneration, and biomass production.”

Jakarta Post

"A welcome new voice in the search for solutions to the region’s most pressing environmental hazard."

Johannes Nugroho | Jakarta Globe

“Reminds readers of the importance of the relationship between societies, institutions, and the environment in tropical settings.”

Southeast Asian Studies

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