S.S. Nile on the bed of the Darling River south of Bourke, NSW, during a drought. The image was taken by the journalist C. E. W. Bean for the Sydney Morning Herald, circa 1909, (Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons, object no. 00017014). This isn't a long post just a footnote about the Darling … Continue reading Where the crow flies backwards
Yesterday, I woke up and stepped out of my 19th-floor apartment, on the way to church. Passing the light well, its orientation one that scoops in sea breezes, the first thing I smelled was that familiar odour of distant fires. I realise now that it was probably blowing in from Sumatra's Jambi Province, Desa Rimau … Continue reading Jambi Province Sumatra where 90% of fires are deliberately lite
Figure 1: Clearing on the margins of an unregistered plantation in the Siak Kecil area of Riau Province When I first saw this image it saddened me. I had already travelled through the region, not precisely this spot at 0° 59' 54.9996' N, 101° 53' 3.0012' E, but further to the north and west. Travelling … Continue reading Unregistered Plantation in Riau Encroaching on Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve
This morning my colleague Prayoto Tonoto sent me a diagram. It illustrated the stages in the transformation of forests from closed canopy systems to the monocultural plantations that are such a major feature of Riau's landscape. In an earlier blog post, I made mention of these stages Stage 1: Selection Logging Selective logging over a 20-year period. … Continue reading #Change in Riau from closed canopy forest to plantations
Despite the grave conditions that developed in 2015, fire is still the cheapest means of clearing remnant forest areas once valuable species have been removed.
My interest in the rights of Indigenous people dates back many years. As an Australian, of European descent, I acknowledge the prior ownership and customary land rights of Australia's Indigenous nations. This is an interest that I've revealed elsewhere on this blog and one that was well expressed by our former Prime Minister, Paul Keating. … Continue reading Encountering the #Indigenous people of #Riau proved cause for wider reflection
Fred Pearce writing in his book The Landgrabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns The Earth makes the point that "Until the late 1980s Riau was 80 percent jungle. Today the figure is just 30 percent. I've never met Fred but I have met the people of Sungai Tohor who face the consequences of a systematic destruction of peatland … Continue reading Competition for land in Riau Province: Pressure from Oil Palm and Wood Pulp Corporations
Some would argue that the forests of Indonesia were undisturbed until recently but there can never be virgin rainforest once people are present. Beginning as far back 40,000 years ago a process of incremental transformation unfolded along the Indonesian archipelago. This was sustainable change all but invisible yet the very languages and cultures of the … Continue reading Little ground for optimism for the future of forests in #Indonesia’s #Riau Province
Sound of an approaching motor bike broke a long reflection on the devastation caused by fires that have raged across Indonesia's peatlands in recent years producing suffocating smoke haze across the region. Joining an expedition to explore the causes of the smoke haze was sure to provoke such thoughts. Here on Tebing Tinggi Island, close … Continue reading #Tigers and orang utan are important but what about the #Indigenous people?
This is a Chitter Media Production, produced and edited by Adrian Metlenko, camera operators Adrian Metlenko and Evan Darnley-Pentes.