17 December 2015: Updating with link to report on Felda case study by LMC International and note on 9 December 2015 Indonesia simultaneous local elections.
November 2015: Haze Control through the Sustenance of Indonesian Oil Palm Smallholders by Khor Yu Leng, Johan Saravanamuttu and Deborah Augustin.
Southeast Asia has arguably seen the worst-ever, certainly the longest, peat-driven haze-smoke pollution between September and November 2015.1 Some 43 million Indonesians were exposed continuously to toxic smog in Kalimantan and Sumatra. In neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, unhealthy to hazardous levels of haze-smoke were recorded causing the closing of schools and great consternation among the public. A number of Singaporean supermarkets stopped the sale of some products of alleged haze-causing companies..... haze pollution has continued on a yearly basis since 1997, due primarily to the burning on peatlands in Sumatra and Kalimantan. In 2015, fires have burned some two million hectares of land and over 100,000 fires have occurred. While El Nino climatic conditions exacerbate the situation, scientists consider it no longer a controlling factor, given the regularity of the problem.....
Going beyond reactive policies vis–à–vis the haze such as: (i) boycotts (possibly counter-productive), (ii) buying sustainably certified products (of rather limited reach and expected to create multi-tier prices, suppressing prices for its less desired peat zones) and (iii) suing and penalizing companies; we suggest several policy measures which would address a longer-term solution to the problem. In October, Indonesia’s attention rightly turned to the interests and prospects of its oil palm smallholders. At bottom line, what is required to handle the peat haze-smoke problem are proactive solutions......
Erratum on Pg 8 (previous version), corrected as follows: In fact, recent data from the Global Forest Watch website for 1 July to 2 November 2015 show that only 10 percent of fire alerts were on oil palm concession areas and 26 percent on pulpwood concessions.
You can find the article by downloading the Nov 2015 newsletter by The Habibie Center by clicking on this link: http://admin.thcasean.org/assets/uploads/file/2015/11/Thinking_ASEAN_November_2015.compressed.pdf
Referring page: http://www.thcasean.org/publication - newsletters section
About the authors
We are also part of the LMC International team for a review of the Malaysia Felda smallholders project (released in early December 2015); referring page: http://www.carbonstockstudy.com/resource-centre/reports please refer to Consulting Report 12 – The Felda case study: http://www.carbonstockstudy.com/carbonstockstudy/files/94/94ad98bf-119c-47c5-a355-1900822a6e04.pdf (excerpt below)
Also in the same newsletter by The Habibie Center, some interesting infographics with CIFOR data on page 11:
Nov 2015 newsletter by The Habibie Center by clicking on this link: http://admin.thcasean.org/assets/uploads/file/2015/11/Thinking_ASEAN_November_2015.compressed.pdf
referring page: http://www.thcasean.org/publication - newsletters section
Other think tank and academic papers on the political economy of palm oil by this blog editor:
- The Political Tussle Over Felda Land Schemes – UMNO Strengthens Its Malay Rural Fortress in 13th General Election by Khor Yu Leng http://khoryuleng.blogspot.my/2014/11/the-political-tussle-over-felda-land.html
- ISEAS Perspectives: Struggle for sustainability in palm oil industry shows results By Khor Yu Leng http://khoryuleng.blogspot.my/2013/04/iseas-perspectives-struggle-for.html
- ISEAS Perspectives: The Sabah-Sulu Crisis Threatens the Palm Oil Supply-Chain By Khor Yu Leng http://khoryuleng.blogspot.my/2013/03/iseas-perspectives-sabah-sulu-crisis.html
- The oil palm industry bows to NGO campaigns by Yu Leng Khor http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lite.201100106/abstract