JEP  Vol.8 No.11 , October 2017
Peatland Fires in Riau, Indonesia, in Relation to Land Cover Type, Land Management, Landholder, and Spatial Management
Abstract: Peatland in Southeast Asia has an important function in the provision of ecosystem services such as carbon sink, climate regulation, water supply, biodiversity, and others. Recurrent fires in the peatland, especially in Indonesia, have changed peatland functions from carbon sequestration to carbon emission, causing severe environmental and economic problems. Fire prevention requires an understanding of the factors affecting fire in peatland. We compared fire occurrences in 2014 between different land cover types, land management systems, landholders, and proximity to roads and canals in Riau Province, Indonesia. Remote sensing and field data were collected and analyzed. Shrubland was the most fire-prone land cover, while plantations and mangrove forests were the least. Shrubland has high fire occurrence regardless of land management and landholder type. Peat swamp forests that are allowed to be utilized were more fire-prone than conserved peat swamp forests. Oil palms from unregistered companies had more fires than those from registered companies and smallholders. Coconut and sago plantations from companies had more fires than smallholder cultivation. Proximity to roads and canals affects the occurrence of fires in peat swamp forests; however, proximity had less of an effect on fire occurrence in shrubland. The high percentage of burned areas in shrubland showed that land cover was a major factor that affects fire in peatland, followed by land management, landholders, and proximity to roads and canals. These findings indicate the importance of law enforcement and land management systems, management schemes by different landholders, and the spatial arrangement of land cover, roads, and canals for integrated peatland management and restoration of shrubland into peat swamp forest and other fire-resistant land cover types with sustainable production.
Cite this paper: Prayoto, Ishihara, M. , Firdaus, R. and Nakagoshi, N. (2017) Peatland Fires in Riau, Indonesia, in Relation to Land Cover Type, Land Management, Landholder, and Spatial Management. Journal of Environmental Protection, 8, 1312-1332. doi: 10.4236/jep.2017.811081.

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