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. Catastrophe and Regeneration in Indonesia's Peatlands 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.
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Kosuke Mizuno is Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. Motoko S. Fujita is Researcher at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. Shuichi Kawai is Professor at the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Japan.