Understanding the Impacts of Recurrent Peat Fires in Padang Island – Riau Province, Indonesia

https://doi.org/10.22146/jik.34126

Ari Susanti(1*), Oka Karyanto(2), Agus Affianto(3), Ismail Ismail(4), Satyawan Pudyatmoko(5), Trias Aditya(6), Haerudin Haerudin(7), Hendra Arditya Nainggolan(8)

(1) Faculty of Foresty, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(2) Faculty of Foresty, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(3) Faculty of Foresty, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(4) Faculty of Foresty, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(5) Departement of Forest Conservation Resources, Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(6) Department of Geodetic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(7) Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(8) Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract


Padang Island in Riau Province of Indonesia has been severely impacted by recurrent fires in 2014 and 2015, leading to severe peat ecosystem degradation and people´s livelihood. Therefore, analyzing the peat fires should not be isolated from socio-economic and local political context. Much has been written about peat fires  especially the magnitude of the fires, however the linkages between ecological and livelihood system of peatland ecosystem gained only scant attention. This paper analyzes how the drivers of peat fires are causing a steady decline in Padang Island and aims to provide more holistic understanding on how the drivers interplay and continue to feed the process of peatland degradation with its associated impacts on local economic development and people’s livelihood. Multidisciplinary approach was applied in this study. This includes remote sensing data analysis, analysis on related documents such as historical documents and regulations. Intensive fieldwork was conducted in the island in which series of FGDs and interviews were executed. We found that the global demands for agricultural commodities have led to massive peat drainage for monoculture farming on peat lands. The high dependency on global commodity market and monoculture farming has created livelihood vulnerability, especially because of the price fluctuation of agricultural products at global market. Moreover, the monoculture farming on peat lands tends to be unsustainable since it demands peat drainage, provides less options for sources of income and tends to marginalize indigenous knowledge about farming on peatland (paludiculture) which have been practiced for centuries in the island.

 

Memahami Dampak Kebakaran Lahan Gambut yang Berulang di Pulau Padang-Provinsi Riau, Indonesia

Intisari

Pulau Padang yang terletak di Provinsi Riau, Indonesia mengalami kebakaran lahan gambut cukup parah dan berulang pada tahun 2014 dan 2015 yang mengakibatkan degradasi ekosistem gambut dan kehidupan masyarakat. Oleh karena itu, seharusnya analisis kebakaran lahan gambut tidak dapat dapat dipisahkan dari konteks sosial ekonomi dan politik lokal. Sudah banyak tulisan yang menganalisis tentang kebakaran lahan gambut terutama terkait dengan besarnya kebakaran, tetapi sangat sedikit yang menganalisis hubungan antara sistem ekologi dan sistem kehidupan masyarakat. Artikel ini menganalisis bagaimana faktor-faktor penyebab kebakaran lahan gambut juga mengakibatkan degradasi yang terusmenerus di Pulau Padang dan bertujuan untuk berkontribusi pada pemahaman yang lebih menyeluruh mengenai bagaimana faktor-faktor tersebut bekerja, saling terkait, dan secara terus-menerus mempengaruhi proses degradasi lahan gambut serta dampaknya terhadap pembangunan ekonomi lokal dan kehidupan masyarakat. Penelitian ini menerapkan pendekatan multi-disiplin yang meliputi analisis data penginderaan jauh, dokumen sejarah dan peraturan terkait. Penelitian lapangan dilakukan secara intensif di Pulau Padang, meliputi serial diskusi kelompok terfokus dan wawancara. Kami menemukan bahwa permintaan pasar global akan komoditas pertanian berkontribusi terhadap drainase lahan gambut skala besar untuk pertanian monokultur pada lahan gambut. Tingginya ketergantungan terhadap pasar global komoditas dan pertanian monokultur telah menciptakan kehidupan masyarakat yang rentan. Hal ini terutama karena besarnya fluktuasi harga komoditas pertanian di pasar global. Di samping itu, pertanian monokultur pada lahan gambut cenderung tidak berkelanjutan karena mensyaratkan pengeringan lahan gambut dengan drainase, menawarkan pilihan sumber penghasilan masyarakat yang lebih sedikit dan meminggirkan pengetahuan lokal tentang paludikultur yang sudah dipraktekkan selama berabad-abad di Pulau Padang.


Keywords


Impacts; Indonesia; Padang Island; peatland ecosystem; peat fires

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/jik.34126

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