Ten Propositions toExplain Kalimantan'sFires

Carol J. Pierce Colfer

In 1997–1998, an estimated 5.2 million ha of East Kalimantan went up in smoke (Hoffman et al. 1999).1 This area was 2 million ha more than the area that burned in the 1982–1983 fires (Mayer 1996; Sakuntaladewi and Amblani 1989). Both burns were related to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. There is also evidence that disastrous burns like those in 1982–1983 and in 1997–1998 degrade the landscape in such a way that future fires are liable to occur again and are likely to be more severe (King 1996; Mori 2000; Nepstad et al. 1999; Nicolas and Beebe 1999).

Because of this likelihood that Kalimantan (and perhaps increasingly other areas)2 will again be ...

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