A Young Indonesian’s Creative Approach: Peatland Fires and Reforestation

In May 2017 I visited Sungai Tohor on the Island of Tebingtinggi. The visit was organised by with the Singapore group People's Movement to Stop the Haze - PMHaze. This area is within the Kabupaten of Meranti in Indonesia's Riau Province. I've written numerous pieces and a short story about the challenges faced by the … Continue reading A Young Indonesian’s Creative Approach: Peatland Fires and Reforestation

About the book ‘Seen and unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific’

‘Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific’, is 29 short stories in the genre of creative non-fiction. Tracing Australian connections with Asia and the Pacific through three generations, it is published in 2015 by Glass House Books an imprint of Interactive Publications (IP) ISBN: 9781925231182. Also, in Kindle and as … Continue reading About the book ‘Seen and unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific’

Geomorphic reflections

One of the main reasons I've moved house was the absolute racket emanating from the building site next to my old place. At first the disruption was modest preparation, over a month or so. It involved clearing a former parking lot, felling trees, building site huts, planning and constructing site drainage, installing generators, lighting and … Continue reading Geomorphic reflections

Jambi Province Sumatra where 90% of fires are deliberately lite

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

Unregistered Plantation in Riau Encroaching on Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve

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

#Change in Riau from closed canopy forest to plantations

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

#Indonesia’s #peatland is burning: the peatland burning #moratorium is failing in Riau Province, Sumatra

Indonesia’s moratorium on peatland burning is failing. Focusing on Riau province, the region with the most extensive of peatlands, in the period 1 to 8 March, 2018, there have been 99 fire alerts in the following areas: Siak 35 Pelalawan 30 Kepulauan Riau Kepulauan 29 Between 2 – 3 March seven hotspots were detected in … Continue reading #Indonesia’s #peatland is burning: the peatland burning #moratorium is failing in Riau Province, Sumatra

Encountering the #Indigenous people of #Riau proved cause for wider reflection

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

Competition for land in Riau Province: Pressure from Oil Palm and Wood Pulp Corporations

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