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Jakarta Post

Slash-and-burn practices lead to forest fires in S. Sumatra

  • Ansyor Idrus

    The Jakarta Post

Palembang   /   Wed, August 15 2012   /  08:17 am

Officials from the South Sumatra provincial administration have been puzzled by the insis-tence among local farmers in continuing their slash-and-burn practices to convert forests for the development of rubber and oil palm plantations.

Such practices constituted the number one cause of forest fires in South Sumatra, said Indra Purna, head of information and observation at Palembang’s Climatology Station on Tuesday.

Achmad Taufik from the South Sumatra Forestry Office’s forest fire control division also confirmed that most forest fires in South Sumatra were caused by slash-and-burn techniques, carried out by local farmers to prepare land for rubber and oil palm estates.

“It is difficult to change the habits among farmers. Such practices have been conducted for years as it is a fast and cheap process,” Achmad said.

Slash and burn farming is a generations...