Printer Friendly

Fire in East Kalimantan: a panoply of practices, views, and [discouraging] effects (1). (Research Notes).

Introduction and Study Sites

In 1997-98, East Kalimantan was hit by the most severe El Nino of the 20th century. The area burned was estimated at 5.2 million ha in that province alone (Hoffman 1999). Although this catastrophe spawned numerous projects and studies, few of these were field-based. (3) The study reported here, based on field research conducted in July and August 1999, attempts to document what happened from the perspectives of selected stakeholders. (4) It represents a starting point for our improved understanding of proximate causes (as supported by Vayda 1999), in the hopes, ultimately, of identifying some underlying causes.

To deal effectively with fire in the future, a better understanding of both proximate and underlying causes of these fires is essential. Nepstad et al. 1999 and others (including Indonesian officials) identify three things needed for a fire: fuel, dry climatic conditions and a source of ignition. Many researchers have identified aspects of the social and institutional realities that contribute to fire, such as land disputes, unclear tenure, land clearing for plantations, conflicting laws and regulations, etc. (e.g., Potter and Lee 1998; Bompard and Guizol 1999; Vayda 1999; Bowen et al. 2000; Suyanto 2000a,b). In this paper, an inductive approach has been used, identifying the factors perceived locally to be important in contributing to the ignition and spread of fire locally, in specific fire events.

The impact on the people residing in communities affected by fires has also been assessed.

My previous research experience among the Uma' Jalan Kenyah, (5) and consequent level of trust, prompted me to focus on their views. Efforts were made throughout to supplement their perceptions with those of other stakeholders in the areas visited. Beginning in Lg. Apui, (6) we follow the migration routes of Kenyah communities living in the fire-affected regions, and address the roles of other important actors in the area.

Long (Lg.) Apui has been selected as an important starting point for several reasons:

* Given the sensitive nature of research on causes of fires, I reasoned that my long-term connection with these people and resulting rapport with them might provide unique insights.

* Long-term data on land use in the area is available (Golfer with Dudley 1993; Golfer et al. 1997; LEAP 1980; Massing 1980; Mayer 1989, 1996; Sakuntaladewi and Amblani 1989; Moniaga 1990; Sardjono 1997); and the management system of the Uma' Jalan Kenyah represents that of many swidden systems in Borneo.

* Significant changes in land use and forest cover have occurred since monitoring first began in the late 1970s (cf. Golfer et al. 1997; Golfer and Salim 1998; Brookfield et al. 1995).

* The combination of concessionaires, plantations, and small-scale agriculture represents a common pattern in Kalimantan.

* Lg. Apui has spawned several other villages, all within the fire-affected areas of East Kalimantan, which form potentially informative comparisons:

* A satellite village called Lepo' Umit, up the Telen River (along the I'ut River and a parallel logging road) which is now intimately connected with the logging concession s Village Guidance (Bina Desa) activities, providing a potentially important divergence in experience (within the same ethnic group and natural resource management history).

* A daughter village in the Lg. Tutung Transmigration Location, where other Lg. Apui residents moved after the 1983 fires and drought. Here, again, there is significant interaction between the Kenyah and other ethnic groups, as well as other major actors (concessions (HPH), industrial timber plantations (HTI), and an oil palm plantation).

* A daughter village called Lalut Bala (initially settled after the 1983 fires), two to four hours from Samarinda (in the ex-ITCI base camp (7)), where marketing of agricultural produce is more feasible, where competition for land is more pronounced, and where inter-ethnic interaction is more common.

* A daughter village, Lepo' Mading, about two hours from Samarinda, where the people had developed an agroforestry system including rice and pepper, fruits and coconuts, supplemented by handicraft production and periodic wage labor, before the fires.

The focus on the Kenyah experience of the fires is intended to contribute, ultimately, to the identification of important underlying causes (cf. Gonner 1999; Mayer 1989, 1996; Sakuntaladewi and Amblani 1989; Gellert 1998; Vayda 1999) and to the evolution of relevant typologies. This study has included use of surveys, interviews, and participant observation. The planned use of GPS (8) to identify locations and land use histories of unburned areas proved impossible: everything, except the villages themselves, had burned.

Lg. Apui, our point of departure, is an Uma' Jalan Kenyah community, initially settled in 1962. In the early 1970s, it, along with neighboring Payau (a Kutai village) and nearby Lg. Nyeng (an Uma' Kulit Kenyah village), was declared a "resettlement village" by the Indonesian government, and for five years received a variety of inputs (housing construction materials, guidance in "settled agriculture," agricultural inputs and implements, etc.). This occurred not long after an El Nino in 1972, followed by a second disastrous year in which rats decimated the people's rice fields (as in 1998-99). By 1979, however, Lg. Apui was prospering, and had grown to more than 1,000 inhabitants.

At that time, virtually all families were living by means of swidden cultivation, making upland rice fields a bit larger than the average size in other communities in that river system (Massing 1980). They were cutting the vast majority of their fields from primary forest, arguing that such lands were more fertile (Golfer with Dudley 1993). Their interest in laying claim to land, new access to markets for rice, and new availability of consumer goods, capital investments, education, and medical services, were also undoubtedly factors in this prosperity.

The community was located in an area given as a concession to the US-based Georgia Pacific Timber Company in 1972. Relations between the community and the company were occasionally marred by conflicts, but Lg. Apui was located in an area where the timber resources were not particularly good, compared to other areas of the concession, and compromises were usually possible.

Lg. Apui was badly affected by the 1983 El Nino, and many families moved away, some to Lalut Bala or to Lepo' Mading, near Samarinda, and some joined the Lg. Tutung transmigration site. This transmigration project began in 1986, bringing thousands of people to an area just north of Lg. Apui (Sakuntaladewi and Amblani 1989). About the same time, Georgia Pacific decided their concession was no longer profitable enough and sold it to P. T. Satu, a company with significant political problems due to its ownership by one of Soeharto's cronies. By the mid-1980s, Lg. Apui had shrunk to about 500 people. In 1990, P.T. Satu became one of the first companies to develop "TI Trans" South of Lg. Apui. (9) Four communities of transmigrants were brought into the area to provide the labor needed to develop the industrial timber plantation that the government was encouraging. Lg. Apui's total population, including Payau and Leo' Umit, is now 1,399 people (village statistics, 1999).

The last two decades have brought increasing pressure on the rain forest (lowland dipterocarp) in the area from timber concessions, from transmigration, from plantation agriculture, and from local communities, as well as sometimes devastating climatic fluctuations. The population density has steadily risen due to in-migration, with local people continuing to depend primarily on direct use of natural resources, and inadequate attention to sustainability issues on the part of the companies and the government. Policies relating to land tenure and use rights have been contradictory and unclear, with power and economic clout typically having greater influence than justice. The level of conflict among stakeholders in the area has risen dramatically, with local people often losing access to the resources on which they depend, particularly when pitted against the many plantation development schemes.

Enter the 1997 ENSO event.


The methods employed have been both quantitative and qualitative. This research involved numerous in-depth individual and group interviews with residents, with the intention of improving our understanding of the causes, frequency/severity, and mechanisms for prevention and control of the fifes. Specific comparisons of resource availability during previous years (El Nino and otherwise) were made; and changes in coping strategies between past and present disaster years were documented. The histories of 20 specific fire events were recorded, including locations, years burned, reported causes, crops planted and land use and tenure patterns in the area, insofar as obtainable. Seven such histories were recorded in Lg. Apui, three in Lepo' Umit, eight in Lg. Tutung, and two in P. T. Akasia's HTI.

I was assisted in this research by Yustina Doq Jau and Yohanes Ngerung, both residents of Lg. Apui; and Pesawat, the community leader of Lepo' Umit, all of whom received guidance in interviewing. Survey forms had been prepared in Bogor in Indonesian and Kenyah, and the two new survey forms were pre-tested and revised with the help of the field assistants. GPS readings were taken throughout the field research period whenever practical. Before the formal studies began, I explained the intent of the research in discussions with village leaders and in various informal discussions with community members, and obtained the agreement of the community members.

The Lg. Tutung component focused on the two settlements called UNIT 1 10-Lg. Tutung and UNIT 11 -Lg. Tutung. The short time available required using an opportunity sample. The fact that some residents were in the village and some not should not, given the usual Kenyah practice of splitting residence between fields and the village, affect the validity of the sample. Interviews were conducted in the Kenyah language.

Calculating the exact proportion surveyed was not possible. In Lg. Apui, official statistics use "KK" (or household head). However, life occurs normally there in extended family situations, with two to three official KK's living in the same house, cooking in the same kitchen, and sharing the same rice fields. Our sample used the house/kitchen/rice field as the unit of analysis for our land use history (not reported here) and the comparative matrices on resources and coping strategies. Table I provides the best population-related data available, with the number of interviews conducted for the two fire-related studies. The matrices were household based; whereas the health and loss survey was directed at individuals.

The Lg. Apui and Lepo' Umit household estimates are based on village statistics, reviewed and corrected by the field assistants. In Lg. Tutung, our estimates are based on a count of households by a group of Kenyah including the Neighborhood Leader (kepala dusun) with whom we stayed in UNIT 10. Interviews were conducted during the day in the fields where groups of Kenyah farmers were participating in senguyun, a kind of group exchange labor, clearing rice fields in preparation for burning. In the evening, the interviews continued at the settlement areas, in people's homes.

The comparative matrix survey required respondents to compare the availability of various forest products and various strategies for coping with disaster during the following years: 1972-73, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1989-90 and 1997-98. The first, middle and last years were El Niflo years. 1979-80 is the year I resided in the community; and 1989-90 is another representative year with a reasonable rice harvest. This survey was conducted among people 40 years of age and older, since those younger than 40 were unlikely to remember the first El Nifio of interest.

Although the interviewers tried to interview half women and half men, they had very little success interviewing women directly, though women regularly contributed to the discussion. I suspect part of this had to do with the assistants' unwillingness to press them, and their own cultural biases. It also reinforces our previous perception that a quick assessment of women's views is difficult (cf. Golfer et at 1998).

The health and loss survey was intended to enhance our understanding of what happened during the fires to people's health and to estimate the amount of losses the people had endured from the fires. In general, this survey was conducted along with the land use history mentioned above, with any residents eligible as respondents. The percentage of female respondents was considerably greater for the health and loss survey.

I also conducted a number of informal and open-ended interviews with various officials and company personnel (e.g. P. T. Satu and P. T. Akasia in Batu Bulan; and county (kecamatan) offices, P. T. Sawit, P. T. Dua in Lg. Tuning) about the causes and impacts of the fires in their areas. The responses of these various parties to queries varied greatly from apparently completely open and honest to extremely guarded, fearful and unhelpful.

The final phase of this research involved brief field visits to Lepo' Mading and Lalut Bala, both Kenyah villages a few hours from Samarmnda. Here, open-ended interviews were conducted with as many people as possible during the time available (one and two days, respectively), and GPS readings with fire histories were taken. In Lalut Balan, eight people were interviewed with the comparative matrices and the health and loss survey forms.


This section is divided into seven major sections, one for each community or major stakeholder that shared their perceptions with me: Lg. Apui, P.T. Sam (HPH), Lepo' Umit, Lg.Tutung, P. T. Akasia (HTI), Lepo' Mading, and Lalut Bala. The order simply reflects the order in which they were visited, beginning at Lg. Apui, interviewing neighboring communities and stakeholders, and then moving back toward Samarinda. The Lg. Apui data are the most extensive, and provide a context from which to compare the other views.


Fires and Fire Context

Lg. Apui is a village of shifting cultivators. Although swidden cultivation remains their primary subsistence mode, most community members have been experimenting with tree crops (rubber, cacao, coffee, fruits). They are within P. T. Satu's concession and have been consistently involved in P. T. Satu's Bina Desa (Village Guidance) program. A significant number of local officials, teachers, and church people have in the past received salaries from P. T. Satu. Relations are not as good, perhaps, as those with Lepo' Umit, but there have not been very serious conflicts. Local leaders have recently negotiated with P. T. Satu to clarify the village boundaries of Lg. Apui and three other neighboring communities. I saw good maps (based on those used by the company), on which the proposed boundaries had been drawn. Local leaders also knew about the Ministry of Forestry's plan for village cooperatives for timber management. Lg. Nyeng had recently accepted an offer of Rp. 17,500/cubic meter (from the reforestation funds or from the royalties) as a recompense for the wood to be taken from the area that is agreed to be theirs. (12) Lg. Apui leaders want more information about how the wood taken is calculated before they agree to such a figure.

In Lg. Apui, the fires were seen as coming from outside (see Table 2), from Lg. Tutung to the north, beginning in February. They could be seen coming slowly, low in the forest most of the time, burning high during the heat of the day and flying through the air during windy periods. Because the rice harvest was a complete loss, due to the drought, the people needed money. Part of the community went up the Mela River to pan for gold, and part remained in the community to guard it. March was a period of intense activity, with little food and even less water. The Telen River, usually navigable by fairly large trading boats, was about 50 cm high in the middle, during the worst period. The people realized they couldn't save their fields (most of which are far from the village, up the Telen and Payau Rivers), but they hoped to save their village. They mobilized the entire community, including all the men, women, and children, to cut a fire break through the forest around the back of the village from one end to the o ther. After that was accomplished, flying bits of burning debris continued to threaten the village. One house caught fire briefly, but was seen in time and put out. Another area behind the village (beyond the fire break) was protected by spraying with water in pesticide sprayers and by shoveling soil.

In Lg. Apui itself, there was little blame attached to any individual or company. The fires were seen as coming primarily from the direction of Lg. Tutung, as a sort of natural disaster, later surrounding them. The idea that people might burn the forest in this way to secure rights, or for cheap land clearing, was considered a bit ridiculous. Local people recognize the value of forest resources and the losses that accompany such burning. Another argument against purposeful burning by small farmers is the condition of lands burned in March, by the time rice-planting season comes (at the beginning of the rainy season). The burned areas are full of debris and messy, viney or grassy regrowth that is very difficult to deal with and to weed. (13) Planting upland (unirrigated) rice in March or April simply would not work.

Some Kenyah maintained that Kutai (from Payau) set one fire along the Payau River, though no reasonable proof was forthcoming. The Kutai practice of repeated burning of alang alang (Imperata cylindrica), to encourage the growth of new shoots which draw deer, which are then caught with jerat (a kind of trap), was mentioned repeatedly as a possible cause of smaller fires that occurred after the larger fires were thought to be controlled. A similar story is told in Lepo' Umit, relating to some Kutai who were reportedly hunting for turtles and lit some alang alang. These fires are thought to have been set because of envy since their fields had burned and the remaining Kenyah ones had not. I find this unlikely, myself, given their overall awareness of the effects of the fire and also the danger to themselves and their belongings from further burning.

The figures in Table 2 reflect summaries of responses to an open-ended question, "What was the source of the fires in 1997-98?" People were free to answer as fully as they liked, and each response was tabulated above.

In Lg. Apui, the attribution of fire causes to activities like hunting, rattan collection, and cooking in the forest reflects the greater involvement in and direct dependence upon the forest of most of the population there, vis-a-vis the other sites.

The magnitude of the losses from the fires is both difficult to imagine and difficult to measure. Amazingly, no loss of life or homes was reported (though six field huts were destroyed). However, Care Indonesia did a survey in November/December 1998 (Tuffs 1999), and found a variety of indicators that nutritional levels were sub-standard. (14)

Table 3 summarizes the responses to our questions about losses. The fact that people could provide the number of hectares of particular tree species is indicative of an important change in their system in recent years. In the past, they practiced a traditional agroforestry that mimicked and/or made use primarily of natural regrowth, with minor "fiddling" by humans (weeding around or protecting desired species, periodically interplanting special plants or transplanting a desired species, see Golfer et al. 1997). It was very difficult for them to estimate the quantities of particular crops other than rice. With "guidance" from P. T. Satu and the Lg. Tutung extension personnel, they now include some more conventional (within the scientific world) agroforestry, planting the seedlings provided by these outside groups within specified areas after their rice crop. And they know how many hectares of those crops they lost.

More difficult to estimate, and more important to Kenyah subsistence, is the damage done to the surrounding forest. The confusion about land tenure in the area makes it very difficult for the Kenyah to know how to respond to a question like "How much of your own forest burned?" In the past, the difficulty would have been in knowing the size of a hectare (which remains a problem). Ownership was clear: whoever had cleared the primary forest (or their offspring) owned the area. But the government, the industrial timber plantations, the transmigration authorities, the oil palm plantation, and the logging companies do not reckon ownership in the same way. Now the problem is determining which system of land ownership applies. People were able to estimate easily the amount of their most recent rice field that burned. But the secondary forest areas they listed (Table 4) did not include vast areas that would be theirs by their traditional system, and are typically available to them to use. Our earlier estimate of the land needed in that area for sustainable agroforestry production and maintenance of the peoples life style (Colfer with Dudley 1993) was 15-40 ha per family (roughly 2,000-5,300 ha, with our current population estimate). Basically, it all burned.

Comparison of 1997 El Nino with Previous Ones (15)

The 1997 El Nino was unanimously considered the worst fire they had ever seen, much worse than the 1983 fires (see Mayer 1989 for a post-fire analysis) or the 1972 drought. Whereas in 1982-83 the Lg. Apui area was evaluated as among the worst affected, with more than 50% crown damage to trees (Wirawan 1987), the 1997-98 fires burned everything. The German Integrated Forest Fire Management Project produced maps showing Lg. Apui falling into the category of damage > 80%. There was nothing left for the birds to eat. Animals were easy to hunt because they needed water, and came to the river to drink. The fish were easy to catch because they were concentrated in such small amounts of water. Whereas in 1983 people had subsisted on cassava, this time much of the cassava was burned as well. Forest foods like ferns, bamboo shoots, and various kinds of leaves all burned. There was nothing to eat except the animals and the fish, and the price of rice was astronomical (if available at all). In 1983, many of the trees sti ll stood. The fire had burned the underbrush and the small trees, but valuable ironwood and meranti remained. This time, there are very few living large trees left.

Lg. Apui appears to have depended even more heavily on gold panning this time than during the previous crisis. One problem they recounted with the 1982-83 gold panning was the continual immersion in water and the resulting "rotting" of the skin (Golfer with Dudley 1993). This time, they said there was so little water, they didn't have that problem. (16) They had to dig holes, and let the water slowly seep into the holes before they could pan.

Table 5 provides a summary of their perceptions of the availability of various forest products, and, for contrast, of cash and rice. (17) The lower the number, the more available the product remains (1= a great deal, kado' ale'; 5, very little, kedi'ut ale'). There is a general trend for forest products to be less available, over time, with rattan, bamboo, forest medicines, forest foods, and wood the most dramatically absent recently. Cash seems to be slightly more common now than in the past, though not strikingly so. The rice situation is also deteriorating (confirmed by Colfer and Salim 1998).

The years in bold are El Nifio years.

We were interested to discover how people's survival strategies had changed over the decades, when the rice crop failed. (18) Table 6 (together with Tables 8 and 10) is presented at the end of the paper in Appendix 1. The first seven columns represent people's dependence on forest products as supplements in times of crisis. The next two columns represent customary mechanisms for surviving disasters: requesting help from family or others. The final two, HPH (timber concession) and HTI (industrial timber plantation), were anticipated as possibly increasingly important, but people on the average consider these options as fairly unimportant (4) to not important at all (5). The strong dependence on eating cassava, panning for gold, hunting pigs, and fishing, are clear.

Fire Management Strategies, Risks, and Sanctions

Traditionally, the Kenyah have a variety of fire management strategies (see Aspiannur et al. 1999, for a study of another Kenyah sub-group). They make a fire break between the field they want to bum and any adjacent area they fear might catch fire. Traditionally, healthy and normal living forest does not burn particularly easily in this context. But a fruit orchard might. The firebreak is two depa (or two tull outstretched arms' lengths) in width. Two of these breaks were seen in Lg. Apui fields.

Burning strategies include attention to time of day, amount of wind, condition of surrounding forest, slope, and dryness of slash in the field. Fires burn hottest at midday, and a hot fire is desirable for a good burn (which reduces weeding and increases ash fertilization). The more wind, the more dangerous the fire. When winds are high, small fires are started downwind, moving toward the wind. This allows for more control, but also often results in a less complete burn. Fires started upwind burn hot and move quickly when it is windy, potentially endangering unintended areas downwind. The condition (humidity) of the surrounding foliage also affects these decisions. Old growth is unlikely to burn, whereas an area used the previous year for a rice field is very susceptible to burning. Some said that fires move uphill more quickly/easily than downhill. Naturally, the drier the slash has become, the greater the fire danger and the greater the likelihood of a thorough burn. There also comes a time when there's a significant danger that rains may come and prevent a good burn altogether. The decision to burn is a difficult and stressful one, involving both the individual field owner and, normally, all the others with neighboring fields. The few cases of fires escaping that we were able to elicit were in situations where the adjacent owners had not been notified (and the adjacent owners non-rice crops burned).

Care is taken that people can escape the fire once it gets going. If a large cluster of rice fields (or ladang) is being burned, people may start in the middle and work outwards, so as to avoid the danger of trapping people in the middle.

Technically, there are sanctions against those who do not take proper precautions regarding fire. In the old days, people could be fined a knife or a gong. In more recent times, fines have taken the form of cash. A person who burns someone else's fruit trees, for instance, is supposed to have to pay Rp. 25,000-Rp. 50,000/tree. In fact, in the only concrete examples that community members were able to dredge up, the person burning inappropriately had to pay a total of Rp. 10,000 (see below), even though the neighbor's garden was destroyed.

In fact, most people make their fields near their friends or relatives, and people are aware of the dangers of fire. When burning to clear rice fields, the whole group of people with adjacent rice fields typically discusses when and how to burn. On the fairly rare occasions when an adjacent rice field burns, it is likely to belong to someone who has a close relationship to the person burning, a person who is unlikely to want to harm or sever the relationship. In one case, one family burned its field before its neighbor's field was ready. The fire spread into the neighbor's not yet completely cleared/dried rice field, resulting in a less than satisfactory burn for the neighbor. The victim was angry, but not angry enough to pursue sanctions.

Only one man (A) had repeated problems with fire, and he had succeeded in getting a fine levied against one person who burned his garden of salak (snakefruit), bamboo, and fruits near the village. A woman had cut down some of his jackfruit trees and burned them and then the fire spread into the salak, bamboo and fruit garden. The woman had not made any fire break, and she was fined Rp. 10,000.

In March 1982, A had 70 newly producing clove trees burned in a frequently used area across the Telen River from Lg. Apui (one he originally cleared from old growth in 1972 and planted first with rice). The wind came up and blew the fire from where his neighbor was making a cassava garden in an area that was full of alang alang. A saw the fire from his house and wanted to put it out, but had no water. He tried beating the fire with sticks, but it just kept flaming. He told his neighbor that the government had set reimbursement prices for losses like that, but the neighbor said to let the adat [customary law] committee take care of it. Nothing ever happened. The area has been alang alang from then to now [in fact, the area was alang alang in 1979, as well].

On another occasion, a neighbor was burning to clear for his rice field. He did not make a fire break between his land and A's garden of sweet peppers, jackfruit, and rambutan, and the wind came up. A did not learn of this until he found the place burned. Again, no fines were levied or reimbursement required.

This man's experience was confirmed by other people who had trouble thinking of other examples of "intentional" (sengaja) burning. There were three examples of accusations of intentional burning levied against the Kutai. Only one involved sanctions. The Kutai set some alang alang afire in 1996, and the fire blew out of control into the Lg. Apui cemetery. This resulted in an intra-community dispute, resolved by the adat committee who required the Kutai to pay a fine of Rp. 100,000.


Timber concessionaires have been important actors in Kalimantan for a long time--at least since the 1970s. I interviewed groups of timber company employees in Barn Bulan (two hours downriver, by outboard, from Lg. Apui). As in Lg. Apui, huge areas of P. T. Satu's concession burned. The estimates of officials are 70,000 ha, with three particularly badly hit areas. Major parts of this concession burned in 1982-83 as well. The company appears to have tried hard to put out the fires, mobilizing their heavy equipment, converting gasoline tankers to water tankers, and making use of the workers (though their number had been significantly reduced because of Indonesia's monetary crisis).

Many of the positive management actions they had undertaken or planned were adversely affected. Nurseries burned, areas planted with meranti and making good progress burned. Personnel reported utter dismay and confusion, much like the people of Lg. Apui, about what to do now. The uncertainty that accompanies Indonesia's current political crisis (their owner, one of Soeharto's most famous cronies, is now in jail) added to their confusion; and to their feelings of job insecurity.

They reported feelings of fear and amazement as the fire blazed up during the heat of the day or during windy periods, carrying burning debris flying over their heads to land hither and yon. Both P. T. Satu personnel and people in Barn Matahari told of staying up night and day to guard against and fight fires that threatened their homes, and of frightening experiences on roads at night as their cars were temporarily trapped between falling, burning trees.

Although none of the staff members I spoke with was working in Barn Bulan during the 1982-83 fire, they reported that the recent fires were much worse, causing much more damage (both in terms of area and in terms of intensity). As noted above, Wirawan (1987) reported >50% crown damage in this area after the 1982-83 fires; whereas Hoffman (1999) reports >80% this time.

While the fires were threatening, the timber personnel used bulldozers to clear a swath around the villages of Batu Bulan and Batu Matahari, immediately adjacent to their main local headquarters, and kept tanker trucks filled and used (including delivering water to people who had drums to place by the road, and providing transport for people in the village of Lepo' Umit to go get water every other day). They reported having to attach ten lengths of hose to a tanker truck to get far enough away from the heat of the fire to work. The area around the camp is almost completely alang alang, so the fire danger must have been extremely high.

The primary risk, of course, from the company's point of view, was probably financial loss. I was unable to elicit any estimate of this, but of course the losses sustained are enormous, both in terms of standing timber that is no more, and in terms of the various activities they have undertaken to make the operation more sustainable (including the losses to the Bina Desa Program, such as those reported in Lg. Apui and Lepo' Umit).

One official mentioned the overall loss to be one that affected his professional life, since he was there because he was a forester, and he was a forester because he was interested in the forests. Now, the forests are burned in this area. His compatriots seemed to share his dismay.

The sanctions that have been applied to P. T. Satu do not seem to be related to the fires, but rather to political problems related to their owner. Local people are not blaming the company (except in a sort of general way that logging dries out forests) for the fires; nor do there appear to be sanctions within the company, which appears to be too preoccupied with its other problems to be much concerned with this issue.


Lepo' Umit's situation differs from that of Lg. Apui in that it was essentially a locally initiated experiment in settled agroforestry. The leader, B, wanted to lead a group of people in a new way of farming that would protect the environment, confirm their rights to the land, and yield a good income for them and their children. In pursuing this dream, B worked closely, first with P. T. Satu, the logging company that was expanding by developing industrial plantations in the area, and later got additional help from the agricultural extension agents in Lg. Tutung. Lepo' Umit people continue to do swidden cultivation on a small scale, but their intent has been to switch to rubber as their economic base, supplemented by a variety of other crops (pepper, fruits, and possibly some industrial tree crops).

Their experience of the fires was much the same as that of the people of Lg. Apui's. From their perspective, the fires came out of the north (Lg. Tuning area), aided by wind and drought, burning everything in their path. The leader was committed to their experiment, and to all the effort the whole community had put into their endeavor. The community arranged for the timber company to bring their heavy equipment to the area and cut a clean swath through the forest to protect the community's rubber trees. This was done to the north, and another swath was cut to the south. Community members made heroic efforts to guard their area, putting out fires that ventured in, working night and day, dirty, hot, and short of water. For a brief time, the fires seemed under control. Because their harvest had failed totally, almost all of the community members followed their friends and families from Lg. Apui to areas upriver (Mela and Telen rivers) to pan for gold--against the appeals of B, who told them that the rubber trees were their children, and would feed them when they were old if they remained to take care of them. While they were gone, another fire started in a patch of alang alang. Again, with heroic efforts and the help of the few people who could be found, B tried to save the community's fields, but the fire raced through too quickly and there were too few people to fight it. Five field huts were burned, and almost all the rubber that the community had so carefully tended.

The people blame the Kutai from nearby Labi Labi, whom they claim were out hunting turtles (the equivalent for that ethnic group to the Kenyab's search for gold, as a subsistence strategy during these times of stress), and lit the fire. Some say it was purposeful (jealousy because Lepo' Umit's rubber gardens represented the one green area), others say they were careless with cooking fires or cigarettes. No one saw them, and I found no evidence that it was purposely set. Although the suspicion was reported to the Kutai village head, no further efforts were made to recover damages--partly from fear of charges of slander.

Relations with the company continue to be good. The community is grateful to the company for trying, with their heavy equipment, to prevent the loss by fire, and the company also brought them water by tanker periodically and took them to the one remaining source of water (a dam that had been created by the construction of the logging road) every other day. P. T. Satu has political problems, and the company's situation now remains uncertain, which has resulted in diminished help to the community. The entire concession burned, along with all the sengon, meranti and about half of the acacia. The gamelina, however, seems to have recovered nicely from the burn.

The company, through the Bina Desa Program, has consistently provided assistance to this community, including helping with seedlings, transport, extension, etc. According to B, the company has also accepted some of his suggestions (such as planning to start an area of fruit trees that included both fruits from afar and from the local forests--Hutan Cadangan Pangan). B reports that the local company officials are prepared to hand over rights to the plantation in the area of Lepo' Umit, but he does not know if this will be approved at higher levels (though he says he has good relations with the general manager of Batu Bulan, in Samarinda). He has thought through what he wants to ask for and the rationale, including plans for the future. These include preservation of the burned old growth so that it can regenerate; planting of gamelina since it has proven to be fire-resistant, grows quickly, and is good quality wood for furniture; and replanting of the community's rubber.

I did not discover any evidence or perception that the company was responsible for any of the burning. Indeed, all parties with whom I have spoken appear to be genuinely appalled at the damage and almost overcome by the losses they have sustained.

This community had not been established at the time of the 1982-83 fires. The forest had been logged and partially burned (>50%, Wirawan 1987).

Table 7 provides Lepo' Umit people's average assessments of the availability of forest products, as that has changed over time. The people were still in Lg. Apui during the first three dates in the table. The availability of cash and rice are also assessed, for comparative purposes. Although the availability of wildlife and fish are assessed as about the same as the Lg. Apui assessment (between "average," 3, and "a lot," 2), they remember fewer abundant times than do Lg. Apui residents. Rattan, bamboo, forest medicines and foods, and wood are also seen as scarce now in Lepo' Umit. Roughly the same pattern is also evident for cash and rice as in Lg. Apui.

The years in bold are El Nino years.

Table 8 (in appendix) shows the changing coping strategies used by people in Lepo' Umit in times of disaster. Eating cassava and panning for gold were the primary coping strategies during the fires. Hunting for pigs, fishing, and making wooden beams were also important.

The local communities are also very familiar with the use of fire and methods for controlling the spread of fire (related to slope, wind direction, time of day, dryness of fields, as well as clearing paths between areas to be burned and areas to be preserved), as in Lg. Apui. Traditionally, they have used fire as a tool, and know its uses and its dangers. They also have traditionally held people responsible (fines) for inadvertently burning other people's property. In Lepo' Umit, a relatively new community, there has not been any formal codification of traditional law, nor has there been a situation, other than the 1997-98 fires, in which unintentional fires have occurred that were considered significant enough to report, even within the village.


Lg. Tutung is a large transmigration area, originally settled in 1986 and 1987. The primary ethnic groups living there include people from Java, from NTT, NTB, Lombok, and local Kenyah transmigrants from Lg. Apui (primarily represented in this study), from Lg. Nyeng, from Lg. Po'on, and from Lg. Cu'. These groups practice very different kinds of farming and have responded quite differently to the opportunities and constraints confronted in the transmigration program. The Kenyah remain intimately involved in upland rice cultivation, while experimenting with the tree crops mandated by the government program. Every family interviewed had planted coconut, supplied by a peristatal plantation on credit, in the late 1980s. Shortly after that crop began bearing, a serious fire burned significant amounts of the coconut, and the government (with the help of the World Bank and, I believe, the plantation) made cacao seedlings available to the farmers. The farmers planted the cacao among the remaining coconut, using the coconut as a shade tree. The year prior to the burn, they had good yields and were pleased with their ability to live on these tree crop yields. The fires of 1997-98 demolished almost all the coconut and cacao, leaving the people feeling helpless, dismayed, and quite uncertain about the future.

The people have titles to their quarter ha home gardens and Lahan I (one ha, the first field they were given, intended for food crops). Lahan 11 (2 ha) has been allotted but they do not have title to it, and of course they do not have certificates for the areas of forest they have cleared since moving to the area and discovering they could not subsist on the food crops they were able to grow on their official plots (cf. Colfer with Dudley 1993). Both Lahan I and II are covered with alang alang, the clearing of which the Kenyah do not consider consistent with their agroforestry system, the value of their labor, or their personal work ethic. Along both sides of the road between UNIT 11 and the area near P. T. Satu's rubber orchard, are areas that had been planted with coconut and cacao, but that are now vast expanses of grassland.

A group of 95 households in UNIT 11 arranged with P.T. Satu to use some land adjacent to P. T. Satu's rubber seedling area (which did not burn). P. T. Satu agreed to each household's getting 50 m along the road (Lg. Tutung--Sengatta) and 1.5 km back from the road. The leaders of two Kenyah farmer groups sent a letter to the Bupati (Tenggarong) on 2 July requesting permission to use this area. Their rationale includes several issues: 1) Their households have grown so that their children now need land, something the transmigration program will, they think, have to deal with for all the transmigrants eventually, 2) They have a traditional agroforestry system that includes hunting and other uses of the forest, so they need to be near forest (of which there are remains nearby), 3) If they are away from other ethnic groups and other agricultural systems, they will be better able to deal with fire hazards. They remain interested in a combination of food and tree crops. The area has been partially cleared and plante d with corn, recently; and the clearing continues with the intention to plant rice in September.

Although information on the agricultural practices of the other groups is based on much briefer observation and knowledge, people from NTT have cattle they manage as an important part of their system. The Kenyah understanding of the system is that people from NTT burn alang alang so that the young shoots are available to the cattle for fodder; and the Kenyah consider these people to be careless with fire and responsible for much of the damage.

The complaints of the Kenyah in UNIT 10-Lg. Tutung focused on people from NTT, whereas those in UNIT 11 maligned the Javanese. I spoke with one Javanese farmer who was burning alang alang. He had cut the grass, let it dry, piled it up, and was burning it, prior to cultivating the soil with a hoe (cangkul). His previous days' work was visible, cultivated in front of the area being burned. He was standing there, watching the fire, which he had made in the middle of the cleared area. He expressed dismay at the farming practices of the other groups.

Although the Kenyah complained of the regular use of fire by the other groups, they also reported clearing the alang alang under their cacao trees with fire to protect them during the drought, the idea being that cleared areas are less subject to wildfire.

Every day of the study, smoke was visible in the sky. At one point, I saw three plumes in different places at once.

The earlier Table 2 demonstrates clearly the much higher internal suspicion in the transmigration area, vis-a-vis a more remote local community like Lg. Apui. Whereas in Lg. Apui, 78% basically saw the fires as coming from outside, in Lg. Tutung, this percentage dropped sharply (47% in UNIT 10 and 44% in UNIT 11). Indeed, no one responded that the fires were accidental in either transmigration community.

Tables 3 and 4 (above) show the number of ha burned that belonged to the 38 families surveyed in the two locations (UNIT 10-Lg. Tuning and UNIT 11-Lg. Tuning). Coconuts, cacao, and bananas were the primary crops grown by these people, and they represent important losses. Interestingly, no mention was made of the oil palm plantation that Sakuntaladewi and Amblani (1989) described as planted at the time of their research (and providing employment for local people). At that time, the intention was to distribute the land as part of Lahan II for UNIT 11-Lg. Tuning when the trees began to bear.

As in Lg. Apui, the problem of land ownership is confusing. These people, unable to subsist on their allotted plots, began opening forest land (consistent with their previous customs) in 1988 (Golfer with Dudley 1993). Sakuntaladewi and Amblani (1989) reported that some transmigrants had also begun to practice shifting cultivation at the time of their study. The people consider this land to be their own, but they also recognize that outsiders do not agree with them. These differences of opinion about land tenure account for some of the prevailing antagonism that characterizes Lg. Tuning. The Kenyah do acknowledge that, compared to the local indigenous communities like Bau Barn, they must be considered "newcomers," now that they have joined the transmigration program. None of this land, to which they lay some claim, is included in Table 4--yet most or all of it burned.

There are three other major actors in this area besides the communities:

* P. T. Dua, a logging company in whose concession all this activity has taken place and which used to be in partnership with P. T. Sumalindo;

* P. T. Tiga, which has a huge industrial timber plantation (HTI) within P. T. Dua's concession area;

* P.T. Sawit, a large oil palm company, reportedly connected with the Sinar Mas Group.

P. T. Dua has had their concession since 1979. (19) It now covers 73,124 ha and was recently closed and then renewed on a trial basis for two years. Since 1979, its area has been reduced by the development of the transmigration area in the 1980s, by the addition of the HTI in the 1990s, and by the formal acknowledgement of "enclaves" arranged in cooperation with local communities (January 1999). P. T. Dua personnel whom I interviewed were open, cooperative, and appeared to have nothing to hide.

Large areas of the western part of P. T. Dua's concession burned quite thoroughly, but these were the areas they had already logged, by and large. The eastern area remains, they said, in reasonable shape, and they are logging (at km. 60-from the base camp/log pond in Long Pau).

There has been a serious conflict between the logging company, P. T. Dua, and the oil palm plantation, P. T. Sawit. P. T. Sawit's clearing activities within the P. T. Dua concession (covering 7,850 ha) began in May 1997, without permission from either P. T. Dua or the Forestry Ministry. They used three smaller companies to help them clear. Legal action against P. T. Sawit was initiated by a committee involving the police, P. T. Dua, local government officials and others, who investigated charges that P. T. Sawit's clearing was responsible for the fires that demolished the area. P. T. Dua served as a witness in this legal action (which fell under the criminal laws). The conclusion of the court was that there was insufficient evidence against P. T. Sawit, but P. T. Sawit still had to pay the court costs and reimburse farmers who had planted sengon along one of the affected roads, as part of a P. T. Dua regreening program. P. T. Dua personnel almost refused to speak with me. My repeated explanations of the innoc ence of my intention finally convinced them to talk to me, but the views expressed were clearly "company policy," i.e., "the fires were the result of the El Niflo."

P. T. Sawit has also had serious conflicts with an adjacent local community, Bau Baru. In return for rights to use their land for oil palm, the company was said to have made promises to the community. The promises were reportedly not kept. The community of about 3,000 people (Kayan) was reportedly united in their disapproval of the company's action, and they went to the oil palm field and demonstrated, they went to the office and demonstrated, and they went to the county leader (camat) and demonstrated. A smaller number of people from Bau Baru also reportedly went to the field one night, took wood that had been sawn into smaller logs for their own use, using the company's tractors, and then drove the tractors, one by one, into a nearby swamp, in protest. The conflict appears to have been resolved by the company's moving its border somewhat so that it impinges less on local lands, and promising some other help.

The Kenyah community leader (kepala dusun) was involved in the current resolution of this problem, but he himself distrusts P. T. Sawit. He said that the field manager from P. T. Sawit approached him some time ago, wanting to use three ha of his land, and promising that he would be involved in a group of prioritized farmers. After the company got the land and converted it, the kepala dusun has been unable to contact the field manager. The kepala dusun believes he was tricked.

P. T. Tiga has a very large industrial timber plantation within the previous P. T. Dua timber concession that was opened in 1992. The species they have planted include sengon, albizia, gamelina, eucalyptus, and a little teak and mahoni. No one I spoke with mentioned the HTI until I saw it on the map that P. T. Dua gave me. It burned, along with the rest of the area, but no one mentioned anyone setting fires, or seemed to suspect the company of setting fires, given the obvious losses they would sustain in their own company.

The Lg. Tutung area was logged in the 1970s and 80s, and burned partially in 1982-83. Wirawan (1987) placed Lg. Tutung in the category "up to 50% crown damage" to trees. The area had not yet been converted into a transmigration location at the time of the 1982-83 El Nifio, but it was partially burned during the shorter droughts of the early 1990s. Again, nothing compares to the 1997-98 fires for damage done.

Neither P.T. Tiga's HTI nor P. T. Sawit was operating during the earlier serious drought. Unfortunately, I did not get to talk with P. T. Tiga personnel, and no one mentioned the more recent droughts or their impacts on the HTI.

P. T. Dua was operating in 1982-83 and said they sustained significant damage, but again, nothing compared to 1997-98.

Table 9 shows local people's perceptions of changes in resource availability over time. There is a fair amount of consistency in the findings from the three survey locations in perceived resource availability.

Table 10 shows the slightly more common use of wage labor as a supplement to income in cases of disaster than in the other two villages surveyed, though it is still not perceived as common. In 1999, however, a number of people (having no rice, whatsoever) reluctantly went to work for the oil palm plantation.

The Kenyah in Lg. Tutung use fire in the same way as in Lg. Apui, with the same safeguards. However, they do not feel they can use their adat laws regarding fire, because technically they are "newcomers" like the other transmigrants. Their custom of making rice fields together with close friends or relatives helped cement joint responsibility for fire, and that is impossible insofar as they use Lahan I or II for their rice fields (they do not, anymore). Lahan I and II were passed out on the basis of a lottery, so the fields of one ethnic group are interspersed with those of other ethnic groups. Since the Kenyah have made rice fields in places other than Lahan I and II consistently since the second year of their settlement in Lg. Tutung, their sense of intra-group community (or "social glue") continues to function. In fact, being surrounded by other ethnic groups may in fact emphasize and strengthen their commitment to their own way of life and to other members of their ethnic group.

It seems probable that the emphasis on keeping the area under the tree crops clear goes along with a common agricultural requirement that areas between the trees be regularly weeded and that the growth of competing plants be minimized. This is incompatible with a system that allows forest re-growth. It probably also results in a drier environment. On the other hand, if the only regrowth under the trees is alang alang, the practice of clearing that away may indeed prevent fires, as local people maintained.

The geographical mixture of agricultural and agroforestry systems and the people from the different ethnic groups that practice those systems mean that one's neighbors may be involved in very different pursuits. In this case (as in other mixed transmigration sites, cf. Colfer et al. 1989), there is also considerable antagonism between the ethnic groups and much suspicion that the other ethnic groups are responsible for the fires, which do, indeed, bum regularly. I was told that any time there is a week or so of no rain, fires begin to appear (though most are controlled). The day before our arrival in Lg. Tutung, the cassava garden behind the house of the kepala dusun was almost burned by an uncontrolled alang alang fire directly behind the plot. They said they did not know who set it, but were sure it was people from NTT (Nusa Teenggara Timur).

There did not appear to be any sanctions associated with fire, reportedly because of the difficulty in obtaining evidence about who started it.

The differences in agricultural practices among the different ethnic groups have already been mentioned. Within the Kenyah community, there were people who were able to protect their fields longer than others. The kepala dusun, for instance, carefully monitored his Lahan II field of coconut/cacao, burning the alang alang that came up under it regularly. He was able to protect it until May, when he believes a group of people from NTT purposely set it afire.

He experienced an increase in theft of his crops during the monetary crisis. On twelve separate occasions he caught thieves, four of whom he took to the police who put them in jail for three months, and eight of whom he only took to the village head (kep ala desa). The latter eight thieves admitted their crime and apologized. No other sanctions were applied. He heard from an ex-priest from NTT and from the kepala dusun of the NTT community that these 12 men had made an agreement to burn his field if it remained after the fires. He did not pursue this legally, despite the fact that the kepala dusun offered to serve as a witness, and he believes quite firmly that it is true. He said, "What's the use? The crops are gone."


Since the late 1980s, there has been significant interest in industrial timber plantations by the Indonesian government and by companies (cf. Gellert 1998). For that reason, and the generally adverse effects of these plantations on local communities, I interviewed a number of officials at P. T. Akasia, as well as talking with a few transmigrants involved in the HTI scheme. About 90% of P. T. Akasia's 53,000 ha HTI burned (48,000 ha). The company officials stressed the efforts they had put forth to put out the fires and to protect the four transmigration villages within their area (see below).

The plantation had acacia, albizia, and gamelina planted in the early days of the plantation's existence (1984-1992). After that, the emphasis was on meranti (Shorea leprasula and Shorea part ifolia), planted in strips with shade trees (ulin, Eusideroxylon zwageri; kapur, Dryobalanops beccarii; bengkirai, Shorea Iaevis; benggeris, and fruits). During the early days, they used fire to clear land, but after 1992, they report stopping using fire, after a directive from above.

There are four transmigration settlements in their area, initially with 300 families each (UNIT 1 was settled in 1991, UNIT 2, in 1992, UNIT 3, 1993, UNIT 4, 1994). These communities have seriously dwindled in numbers. Estimates from local people in UNIT I are that there may be 200 families left. They estimated less than 100 households left in UNIT 2. The reasons given were economic ones, that they couldn't make a reasonable living.

The people in UNIT 1 include Javanese and Kutai, with smaller numbers of Banjars and Bugis. No inter-ethnic squabbling was reported (the two Javanese women I spoke with emphasized differences in food preferences only); and one of the two groups I spoke with was composed of a Javanese, a Bugis, and a Kutai. Although it seems probable that ethnic differences have some impact, it also seems likely that they are less problematic than in Lg. Tutung.

This area burned partially in 1982-83, though the area was still part of P. T. Satu's timber concession at that time. It burned seriously, as mentioned above, in 1997-98 (about 90%). No serious intervening fires were reported.

The company reported maintaining a fire control committee of 30 people (confirmed by a community member), using all the 1,000 employees at one point or another in fire control. They reported having a variety of fire control equipment (bulldozers, water tankers, mobile water tanks, graders, motorcycles, fire towers, radio units, pickups and water storage areas, and high pressure water pumps) that they used in trying to control the fires. They also made 10 m wide strips around the areas they were trying to protect, including villages. The company has an agreement with the Department of Transmigration stating that they have to supply year-round employment to the transmigrants in the four settlements within their area. Because of this, they paid the transmigrants to help protect the trees during the fires.

Despite all this, one articulate resident of UNIT 1 felt that one of the two most important messages he wanted to convey was the shortcomings of the company in terms of preparation for future fires. The other was their laxity in supervising clearing of areas under trees (weeding), particularly while the trees were young. He felt this laxity contributed to serious fire danger, and compared badly with the practices of P. T. Tiga (in another location, south from the one near Lg. Tutung), which he reported took better care of their trees and had less fire damage (confirmed by visual inspection).

Although the short time available (one day) did not permit much depth, there appeared to be only a small amount of agriculture (other than plantation) within the area. The transmigrants had 1/4 ha of land reserved for their agricultural use, but it was reported to be 1.5 kilometers from the settlement. People had planted a number of tree crops (mango, citrus, coffee, salak, bananas) and cassava on their land, but it all burned. The area is now covered by alang alang, primarily. No previous problems with fire (pre-1997-98) had been reported. People burned small areas of land to make orchards, but these were reported to be easily controlled.

Although the drought was a difficult time for everyone because of the smoke, fear, financial losses in crops burned, the rise in prices and unavailability of commodities, the people's dependence on the company (required to provide for them) may have lessened the impact on them, in comparison with local communities--though this is difficult to confirm. The typical poverty of transmigrants previously on their home island probably affects their interpretation of the severity of a disaster like this, vis-a-vis the other people in the area.

No traditional fire control measures or sanctions were mentioned by any parties I spoke with.


This community is officially part of the larger village of Lepo' Mading, which straddles the road from Samarinda to Bontang. To get to their neighborhood, one passes through Lempake where there was once a botanical garden (now burned) and a transmigration area, before reaching the official village of Lepo' Mading. Once there, one must negotiate a narrow, slippery, 3 km path (not passable by motorcycle except in very dry weather) to reach the Kenyah community. The first Kenyah community member arrived in 1982, with more following between 1984 and 1987, from Lg. Apui, Lg. Cu' and Data Do' (all communities further inland). Initially, they came to be nearer to their children who wanted to continue in school, spurred on also, in most cases, by the trauma of the 1982-83 fires.

Again, the 1998 fires burned the entire surrounding area. Only the houses and the areas immediately adjacent to the village were saved. Even the usually swampy area they use for paddy rice burned. The worst fires were from May to August 1998, and came from the direction of Ma. Badak (near the coast, I believe). All respondents (perhaps 10 people) felt that the fires were not purposely set, believing they probably started from cigarettes thrown carelessly away.

The community's agroforestry system was initially based on a rice-pepper combination. When the price of pepper fell drastically (from Rp. 10,000/kg to Rp. 1,000/kg) they incorporated other crops, including first rambutan and then coconut. They have also been more involved in handicraft production and sale than other Kenyah communities. The women make and sell beadwork; the men make carvings. Both are involved in making rattan weavings for sale.

They have had rice crop failures for three consecutive years. In 1997, the drought hit them early, killing their 1996-97 rice crop as it was about to bear fruit. Then the drought and fires killed the 1997-98 harvest; and this year, they, like the other communities, were attacked by ulat (underground grubs), locusts, and rats. Now in this time of crisis, besides their handicraft work, they estimated that 60% of the strong men are away working for money in concessions and plantations, some in Malaysia. Production of rattan weavings has been complicated by the fact that the rattan is gone from the forest, and they must now buy it, rather than collect it, for Rp. 17,000/kg (stripped). They estimated that whereas before, the average pepper ownership was about 500 sticks/family, after the fires, people have about 10, on average. They would like to replant them, but the cost of each stick has gone from Rp 100/stick to Rp. 500/stick. They are most interested in a plan for which they registered in February, to convert the area to oil palm. They do not know the details of the plan, but they think their land would remain theirs, with the company providing the seedlings and paying them to work in the fields. They would then share the profits (cf. Setiawati and Gunawan 2000). They said the plan was for at least 4,000 ha of oil palm in the area. They anticipate a system that includes paddy rice, fruits, pepper, and oil palm.

There are no significant companies in the area yet with whom the people interact. Their primary land-related conflict is with a huge farmers' group that was sanctioned by a Decision Letter (SK) from the governor in 1992. This group was given the rights to 21,000 ha of land just north of them, some of which covers their own territory (estimated at >1,000 ha). They complained to the camat and argued that they had cleared the land (had forest fallows), and that it belonged to them. The farmers' group was apparently organized by Bugis from the city and included many people with no previous links to this land. This group was also in conflict with local Bugis who felt the land belonged to them, as well. The kepala adat (leader in charge of traditions) of the Kenyah community served as a witness in a court case against the large group, brought by local Bugis ("Bugis against Bugis," he said). The case remains unresolved. The importance of this case is also related to the facts that a) a new road is planned, linking Tenggarong directly with Bontang (bypassing Samarinda) and b) a new airport is under construction (stopped at the moment because of the financial crisis). Both projects are near the area of dispute.

Only one man from this community had moved to Lepo' Mading by the 1982-83 El Nifio. His estimate was that the 1997-98 fires were worse because everything burned. Before, the area had all been forest and they still had rice seed when the fires were over.

There is a recognition that this area is generally much drier than the areas they were used to, with sandy soil. Indeed, all these Kenyah transplanted communities have made this adjustment to some degree, since Lg. Apui and Lg. Cu' are all in areas that have half the rainfall (around 2,000 mm/year) of their earlier homeland in the Apo Kayan (around 4,000 mm/year). They mentioned routinely making a fire break around areas they want to burn, taking care with the wind, and, in contrast to Lg. Apui, burning only in the morning or evening, when the fire will be more controllable.


Lalut Bala is officially part of another village, about 2 hours by motorized canoe up the Jembayan River. There is a road beginning near the Mahakam River, at Tenggarong, but it was not passable without a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

As with the other sites, nearly everything except the village and its immediate surroundings burned. The worst fires were from May-July 1998, coming in two waves following closely one upon the other. The first wave burned the leaves off the trees, and those leaves provided the fuel for the second wave. One person emphasized the fires going along roads and where there was alang alang.

Lalut Bala, first settled by the Kenyah in 1986, was the site of P. T. Empat's base camp when it was actively logging in that area. The people are situated in a multi-ethnic environment, in that there are many communities of Kutai, Banjars, Bugis, and Tunjung Dayaks nearby, though their own village is composed only of Kenyah. The Kenyah are relative newcomers to the area.

Their agroforestry system is again based on the same traditional swidden system as in Lg. Apui, with a somewhat longer-term interest in tree crops. This community has been experimenting with tree crops since the late 1980s. Their primary losses, besides the forest area they claim, were fruit trees, cacao, coffee, and coconut. Seven of the eight families surveyed had lost tree crop orchards (estimates of 1-5 ha), with only one reporting losing none. Everyone reported losing their forest fallows. Six of the eight respondents also reported having lost their field hut and everything in it (rattan baskets and mats, cooking implements, rice stores). This is a much higher proportion than in the other communities, and may be related to the distance they must travel to their fields. They reported having to guard their village night and day, throughout long periods, from flying, burning debris. The fires also came after the rice harvest (which typically ends in April) so they had little reason to monitor those fields regularly.

This community appears to be thriving, despite having lost their yields for two years in a row. There is indeed a shortage of rice. But there are also many more new houses, newly painted, newly expanded, with expensive antennae for televisions, than there were in 1997. People are buying the land around the village, which belongs to neighboring ethnic groups who were there earlier, in anticipation of the growth they expect to follow the road (now only occasionally passable) to their village. The educational level appears to have risen substantially among the young, and the community is currently funding its own school (grades 1-3). Older students can go to the school in Sentuk, the village of which they are technically a part, and Tenggarong and Samarinda both provide comparatively close advanced educational opportunities.

Interestingly, there was only a single example of ethnically based suspicions related to fire. Indeed, most respondents (six out of the eight formally questioned) emphasized the fires coming from outside, from an unknown source. When pressed, people were willing to suggest that it might have been the nearby P. T. Empat's industrial timber plantation, either burning to clear land (as they were reported to do regularly), or workers carelessly throwing cigarette butts around. One person thought ala' (that is, any non-Kenyah) may have been getting wood, and clear-cutting skid trails with fire. The level of suspicion seemed markedly lower here than in any of the sites in the interior. This is interesting, given the more regular interaction among ethnic groups.

Relations with the company hit an all time low in January 1996, when all the men in the community descended (with blowpipes in hand) on the people sent to plant an area of the timber plantation that the community considered its own. The HTI personnel backed off, and relations have been good with the company ever since. The company's Bina Desa Program has reportedly contributed Rp. 1.5 million to their church, an estimated Rp. 4 million (some of it in materials) for their village meeting hall, and two water tanks, in the last few years.

The people in Lalut Bala were still in Lg. Apui in 1982-83. Indeed, they moved to Lalut Bala as a response to the disaster of 1982-83.

People emphasized that fire is not normally a problem for them. They said they use the same techniques for fire control they used in Lg. Apui. When asked about sanctions (and adat), they said there are none, unless the person is caught (which has not happened). If a person were caught setting a fire or letting the fire escape, that person would have to reimburse the victim for his/her losses.

Health Impact

Although the environmental impacts of the fires have been dramatic, there was perhaps more publicity at the time about the haze that affected nearby countries (Gellert 1998). Little attention has been paid to the impact of such haze on the fire sites themselves (with Harwell 1999 a notable exception). For that reason, I collected some semi-systematic information on health impacts of the fires. My team and I interviewed an opportunity sample of 98 individuals in Lg. Apui, UNIT 10-Lg. Tutung and UNIT 11-Lg. Tutung, asking what problems from smoke they had during the fires. Table 11 provides the frequency distribution of reported ailments.

Similar problems were mentioned in Lepo' Mading and Lalut Bala.

The description provided by Harwell (1999) more clearly conveys the kinds of impacts these statistics reflect:

"The era of smoke" (jaman asap) is the phrase the people of Kalimantan use to describe the ten months that an impenetrable cloud of thick yellow smog hung over the island during 1997-98. People fainted and wheezed, coughing black phlegm, eyes burned and watered, soot accumulated in nostrils, ears and the corners of eyes. Some days the visibility was less than 20 meters....Farmers returned from their swidden fields early, since without watches and unable to judge the time by the sun, they feared being caught far from home after nightfall. Although the island sits astride the equator, there wasn't enough sunshine to dry laundry or rice (for husking) or salt fish. Planes and buses crashed, ships plowed into each other in the near zero visibility smoke of the Malacca Straits and on the Barito River, killing hundreds. For months, the sun rarely appeared, and when it did, it was like something out of a vampire movie--a frightening blood-red ball that disappeared behind the smog as quickly as it had come. Apocalypti c imaginings were hard to resist (1999:20-2 1).

Besides the obvious problems of stinging eyes and respiratory problems, people were particularly concerned about their water supplies. People reported intestinal problems and worried about more serious ailments they might suffer. Tuffs (1999) found this still to be a problem in her November/December 1998 survey, where the point prevalence of diarrhea episodes in children under five was 71%. Drinking water for 72% of her respondents was from rivers, with 64% reporting disposing of raw sewage in the river. This conveys something of the dependence of local people on the rivers---whose water levels fell sharply or disappeared during the drought. She also found high levels of upper respiratory infections in the children surveyed (63%).

The psychological malaise is more difficult to describe, but is obvious. In all the interior communities, and even with company employees, I found serious dismay at the scale of the destruction. In most cases, there was sadness over losses to the fires (crops, timber, other forest products) and there was serious anxiety about the future. In Lg. Apui, Care International had provided food for work beginning in January 1999, but they were scheduled to stop immediately after this research [subsequent discussions with Care/Samarinda confirmed that the program continued into 2000]. No harvest was anticipated until January (assuming the pest problems would evaporate). The timber company had no idea what its future held either, being one of Bob Hasan's prime companies, and having lost most of the timber in its concession to the fires.

Moving to Lepo' Umit, we find all these emotions, compounded by a sense of bitter disappointment, of broken dreams. The community had considered itself a kind of experiment in a new agroforestry farming system. Although they still have upland rice fields, they had grown to hope for a "settled" way of life, more consistent with the desires of the government and the companies, and with what they had come to consider modernity. They were on the verge of reaping some of the benefits of their seven or eight year long effort when the fires demolished that dream.

In Lg. Tutung, the dismay, sadness and anxiety are mixed with anger and a sense of injustice. They are angry about the burning practices of their neighbors (both small and large scale) whom they hold partially responsible for the fifes. Although they, too, have no rice harvests, they were not included in the food-for-work program offered to Lg. Apui by Care. And they feel that their history with the government and the local companies has been one of broken promises (confirmed by local officials).

The utter dismay was much less evident in the communities near to Samarinda. Although they also sustained significant losses, they seem to feel they have more alternatives.

Concluding Remarks

In trying to make some sense out of these experiences, I developed ten propositions (explained in more detail in Golfer 2000), as a first step in trying to develop a typology of causes of fires. I reproduce them here to stimulate similar observations, additions (or subtractions) based on others' findings.

The table below (12) provides scores for each study site along the continua stipulated by the ten propositions. The higher the number, the more accurate and intense the relevance of the proposition in that context (1 = not too important; 3 = very important).

Although all of the areas visited in this study were affected by the fires of 1997-98 in disastrous ways, the likelihood of fires starting in a given village varies. The average scores listed in the table serve as an index, showing the likelihood of fires starting in a given village. It seems probable that this likelihood will increase as we move from left to right in the table. (20) According to this reasoning, fires would be most likely to start in Long Tutung (LT) and least likely in Lepo' Umit (LU) and Lepo' Mading (LM), with Long Apui (LA) nearly as unlikely a source of fire. More refined attention to specific causes in specific locations should allow the development of focused fire management strategies--if these propositions prove relevant to other fire prone regions.

I would like to close with three observations: The first is to emphasize the drastic nature of the change in East Kalimantan's landscapes after the fires. Tall trees (except a few standing dead hulks) are almost non-existent. Where forest once stood, viney growth covers the forest remains; the areas of alang alang have increased dramatically. Since my first encounter with Lg. Apui in 1979, for instance, the landscape has changed from a beautiful and dense, humid tropical rain forest, full of valuable dipterocarp trees, a plethora of non-timber forest products, and abundant wildlife, to what can only be described as a degraded landscape, with little left of value.

The second pertains to the situation of local people. They are disheartened and confused. Their system of shifting cultivation has been under attack for years. They have therefore been experimenting with the tree crop systems that the government and the companies have urged them to adopt, putting large amounts of effort (both physical and psychological) into learning new systems with all the changes in labor allocation, values, subsistence patterns, and financial flows that such changes imply. From six to ten years of work, often just on the eve of real financial return, literally went up in smoke---along with the forest that had been their "insurance" in difficult times. In addition to this long-term concern, they had three years without rice yields, first due to the drought, and these past two years, due to an unprecedented plague of pests (rats, most consistently, but also locusts, ulet (probably cutworm or armyworm), njau alang (probably brown planthopper), and birds).

Additionally, the political confusion of the last two years, combined with the agricultural failures mentioned above, have resulted in an appalling level of uncontrolled timber extraction. Much of this extraction is reportedly organized by the police, the military, and other powerful people from the cities, though the "small fly" do the actual cutting. The main rivers are full of rafts and pontoons carrying wood, both legal and illegal, to market; the log ponds lining the river are also full of logs. One passes small rivers that are no longer navigable, their mouths choked with logs waiting to be rafted. The urgency of controlling this extraction can hardly be over-emphasized, since the last chance for the forest to recover is dwindling by the day.

Table 6

Changes over Time in Kenyah Coping Strategies in Lg. Apui

(without Lepo' Umit or Payau)

 Cassava Rattan Gold Pan Pigs Fish Beams Shingles

1972-73 1.18 2.57 2.93 2.15 2.18 4.36 3.21
1979-80 2.61 3.11 3.50 2.29 2.18 3.46 3.54
1982-83 1.57 2.86 2.04 2.18 2.18 3.64 3.71
1989-90 2.93 3.46 3.07 2.18 2.21 3.50 3.71
1997-98 1.93 4.00 1.36 2.14 2.11 3.57 3.93

 Request Request Logging Tree
 (General) Family Company Plantation Other

1972-73 3.29 3.14 4.50 4.57 4.88
1979-80 3.86 4.18 4.57 4.68 4.80
1982-83 3.36 3.50 4.07 4.18 4.56
1989-90 3.75 4.04 3.93 4.43 4.35
1997-98 3.54 3.71 4.04 4.46 4.33
Table 8

Changes over Time in Kenyah Coping Strategies in Lepo' Umit(The first
three dates reflect experience in Lg. Apui)

 Cassava Rattan Gold Pan Pigs Fish Beams Shingles

1972-73 1.40 2.47 3.73 2.73 2.67 3.73 3.80
1979-80 2.00 3.60 3.53 3.00 3.07 4.13 4.27
1982-83 2.33 3.53 3.07 2.93 3.20 4.13 4.47
1989-90 2.47 4.13 3.53 3.00 3.60 4.00 4.07
1997-98 2.00 4.60 1.53 2.80 2.47 2.93 4.40

 Request Request Logging Tree
 (General) Family Company Plantation Other

1972-73 4.47 4.53 4.27 4.73 4.50
1979-80 4.60 4.67 4.20 4.67 4.93
1982-83 4.53 4.60 4.40 4.80 4.86
1989-90 4.40 4.67 4.53 4.87 4.57
1997-98 4.33 4.07 4.73 4.80 4.07
Table 10

Changes over Time in Kenyah Coping Strategies in Lg. Tutung (first three
years in Lg. Apul)

 Cassava Rattan Gold Pan Pigs Fish Beams Shingles

1972-73 1.00 2.74 4.05 2.05 2.05 3.66 3.58
1979-80 3.11 2.89 3.68 2.05 2.05 3.37 3.53
1982-83 1.53 2.95 1.95 2.05 2.05 3.42 3.53
1989-90 3.04 4.22 3.93 2.04 2.04 3.00 3.30
1997-98 2.30 4.48 1.52 2.04 2.04 3.67 3.85

 Request Request Logging Tree
 (General) Family Company Plantation Other

1972-73 2.42 2.42 4.42 4.42 4.50
1979-80 3.68 3.84 4.37 4.37 4.50
1982-83 2.79 2.95 4.37 4.21 4.50
1989-90 3.65 3.81 3.30 3.70 4.25
1997-98 3.07 2.93 3.44 4.22 4.25
Table 1

Number of Kenyah Households and Study Samples--Lg. Apui, Payau, Lepo'
Umit, UNIT 10--Lg. Tutung, UNIT 11-Lg. Tutung

 No. Official Estimated of Comparative Health/Loss
 Households Extended Matrices Interviews

Lg. Apui 149 133 28 53

Payau 101 ? 6 3

Lepo' Umit 25 22 15 0

UNIT 10 (10) ? 21 30
Lg. Apui 35
Lg. Po'on 23
Lg. Cu' 6

Unit 11 (11) ? 8 8
Lg. Apui 7
Lg. Po'on ?
Lg. Cu' ?
Table 2

Perceived Causes of Fire

Lg. Apui, UNIT 10-Lg. Tutung, UNIT 11-Lg. Tutung

Fire form: Lg. Apui UNIT 10 UNIT 11
 (n=58) (n=30) (n=9)

Elsewhere 78% 47% 44%

People 3% 17% 0%
Kutai 3% 0 0
Javanese 0 3% 33%
UNIT 10 (NTT) 0 17% 0%
HTI (timber 2% 0 0
Company 0% 0 11%

Ratton coll. 5% 0 0
Hunting 3% 0 0
Cooking 2% 0 0
Cigarettes 9% 0 0

Grasslands 0 7% 0
Roads 0 30% 0

Accidental 5% 0 0
Purposeful 7% 13% 11%
Table 3

Number of Hectares Burned, by Corp in Lg. Apui, UNIT 10-Lg. Tutung and
UNIT 11-Lg. Tutung

 Ha Burned Ha Burned Ha Burned
Crop: Lg. Apui Unit 10 Unit 11
 (n=56) (n=30) (n=8)

Coconut 1 44 16
Cacao 8 16 4
Fruits 17 2 2
Rubber 17 0 0
Banana 6 10 1
Coffee 6 4 0
Rattan 4 0 0
Cassava 1 1 0
Pine 0 2 0
Bean 1 0 0
Sengon 1 0 0
Cloves 1 0 0
Durian 1 0 0
Vegetables 1 0 0

TOTAL 65 79 23
Table 4

Under-Estimate of Agroforestry Area Burned Lg. Apui, UNIT 10-Lg. Tutung
and UNIT 11-Lg. Tutung

 Burned Burned Burned
Area Type Lg. Apui UNIT 10 UNIT 11

 (n=56) (n=30) (n=8)

Rice field 120 34 20
Secondary forest 148 0 18
Table 5

Changes over Time in Access to Forest Products in Lg. Apui (without
Lepo' Unit or Payau)

 wildlife fish rattan/ medicine food wood cash rice

1972-73 2.00 1.68 2.50 2.79 2.79 2.18 3.79 4.11
1979-80 2.29 2.07 2.21 2.61 2.46 2.29 3.54 2.32
1982-83 2.50 2.29 3.21 3.29 3.39 2.79 3.64 3.96
1989-90 2.39 2.25 3.00 3.07 3.11 2.75 3.25 2.64
1997-98 2.86 2.64 4.25 4.14 4.15 4.04 3.46 4.50
Table 7

Changes over Time in Access to Forest Products in Lepo' Umit. (The first
three dates reflect experience in Lg Apui.)

 wildlife fish rattan/ medicine food wood cash rice

1972-73 2.53 2.80 2.60 3.07 2.87 3.07 3.07 4.47
1979-80 2.93 3.00 3.27 3.47 3.13 3.47 3.07 3.40
1982-83 2.80 3.27 3.67 3.93 3.67 3.67 3.40 3.73
1989-90 3.27 3.53 4.00 4.13 4.27 4.07 3.53 3.27
1997-98 2.80 2.40 4.73 4.87 4.93 4.20 3.07 4.53
Table 9

Changes over Time in Access to Forest Products, Lg. Tutung (UNIT 10 and
UNIT 11 combined) (first three years from Lg. Apui, last two from Lg.

 wildlife fish rattan/ Medicine food wood cash rice

1972-73 1.68 1.74 2.05 2.63 2.11 1.63 4.00 4.47
1979-80 2.05 2.00 2.42 2.63 2.32 1.95 3.63 2.11
1982-83 2.16 2.00 3.16 3.21 3.42 2.32 3.68 4.32
1989-90 2.14 2.32 3.93 3.61 3.54 3.11 3.43 2.43
1997-98 2.25 3.04 4.43 4.21 4.36 4.25 3.50 4.68

The years in bold are El Nifio years.
Table 11

Health Problems During Fire Lg. Apui, UNIT 10 and UNIT 11, Lg. tutung

Concern (n=98) Percent

Breathing difficulties 57%
Stinging eyes 56%
Flu 36%
Watery eyes 33%
General ill health 23%
Coughing 23%
Sore throat 14%
Cloudy vision 9%
Runny nose 6%
Hot air 4%
Mata Negelolo' 3%
Stomach trouble 3%
Unknown 3%
Fever 2%
Headache 2%
Fatigue 2%
Environment 1%
Chest pain 1%
Fear 1%
Worry 1%
Table 12

Scores on Factors Affecting Fire Danger in Research Sites

 Propositions LU LM LA LB BB LT

 1. Environment becoming drier (due to human 3 3 3 3 3 3
 2. Actors unused to combating large scale 2 2 2 2 3 3
 3. Government acting in an uncoordinated 3 3 3 3 3 3
 and corrupt fashion
 4. Number of new, external actors 1 1 1 2 2 3
 5. Diversity of value systems and natural 1 1 1 2 2 3
 resource use patterns
 6. Perceptions of inequity/injustice 2 1 2 2 2 3
 7. Perceptions of insecurity of access to 2 2 2 2 2 3
 resources [no stake]
 8. Internal suspicion and lack of respect 1 1 2 1 2 3
 among people [low social capital]
 9. Unfulfilled subsistence needs linked to 1 2 1 2 2 3
 uncontrollable uses of fire
10. Possibilities for financial gain from 1 1 1 1 1 3
 potentially uncontrollable uses
 of fire

AVERAGE SCORE 1.7 1.7 1.8 2 2.2 3

1 = low; 2 = medium, 3 = high

LU, Lg. Umit; LM, Lepo' Mading; LA, Lg. Apui; LB, Lalut Bala; BB, Batu
Bulan; LT, Lg. Tutung

(1.) This study was part of the CIFOR-ICRAF Fire Project, funded by the United States Forest Service (CIFOR/ICRAF/UNESCO 1998; CIFOR/ICRAF 1999a,b). Its initial purpose was to gain a preliminary understanding of the underlying causes of the fire events that have affected central East Kalimantan (and other areas in Indonesia). Grateful appreciation goes to the US Forest Service, to CIFOR, to my colleagues in the Fire Project, and mostly to the people in East Kalimantan who welcomed me into their lives again and shared what, in this case, were their sorrowful tales.

(3.) See Dennis (1999), or Applegate et al. forthcoming; or Brookfield et al. (1995), for a more long-term perspective.

(4.) By "stakeholders," I refer, in the context of this paper, to all of the parties who have an interest in the forest, including local people, settlers, oil palm and timber and industrial timber plantation companies.

(5.) My first contact with Lg. Apui was in 1979, when I spent a year studying the community's interactions with the forest. I have maintained my research interest in this community, conducting historical studies of land use from initial settlement, studies of their agroforestry system, gender issues, migration, etc. periodically since then.

(6.) Pseudonyms are used throughout to protect the privacy of those interviewed.

(7.) ITCI, International Timber Company of Indonesia, was once a Weyerhauser timber concession; after the 1983 fires, the US-based company withdrew, leaving predominantly Indonesian military ownership.

(8.) I.e., global positioning system; a hand-held device that links its signals to satellites and tells the user his or her exact position on earth.

(9.) HTI stands for Hutan Tanaman Industri, or Industrial Timber Plantation. "HTI Trans" is one of these plantations that incorporates transmigrant labor in its operation. It s a particular kind of transmigration program that was very popular in the early 1990s.

(10.) These sub-categories (Lg. Apui; Lg. Po'on, and Lg. Cu') refer to the place of origin of these local transmigrants.

(11.) "Sakuntaladewi and Amblani (1989) report 1,510 individuals from 357 households in UNIT 11--Lg. Tutung, in 1989 (about 2/3 in-migrants and 1/3 local).

(12.) The exchange rate at this time was roughly US$1 = Rp. 8,500.

(13.) Cf. Mayer (1989). Her study was partially designed to evaluate the degree to which local people had taken advantage of the "free" clearing of land provided by the 1982-83 fires to expand agricultural areas (an idea I also considered reasonable at the time). She found that they had not; and their statements that successful planting is more difficult after a fire because of sharp increases in pests and weeds were confirmed by visual observation as Lg. Apui's inhabitants were struggling to clear their fields during this research period (more than a year after the fires).

(14.) Only 57% of the children under 5 are not "wasted" (weight for height); only 25% are not "stunted" (height for age); and only 26% are not underweight (weight for age) (Tuffs 1999).

(15.) Analyses of the impacts of the 1982-83 fires are available in, for example, Boer (1989); Mayer (1989); Sakuntaladewi and Amblani (1989); Wirawan (1987); Woods (1987).

(16.) Whitmore (1990) reported that between July 1982 and April 1983, East Kalimantan received only 32% of its usual rainfall. I have no comparable data on the more recent drought.

(17.) No statistical analyses have yet been produced, since this report comes from the field.

(18.) Comparable, more specific year-by-year information is available in Golfer and Agus 1998 for the years 1991-1997.

(19.) Sakuntaladewi and Amblani (1989) reported five active timber concessions in the area (UNIT 11-Lg. Tuning) at the time of their research (P.T. Gunung Gajah, P. T. Satu, OTP, Rimba Nusantara, and Gruti).

(20.) Using an average score, as is done here, may not be justified-since there has not yet been any attempt to weigh these respective factors. But this kind of analysis does provide a rough and ready means of assessing possible susceptibility to fire.


Applegate, G., Smith, R., Fox, J., Mitchell, A., Pakham, D., Tapper, N. and Barnes, G. Forthcoming

Forest and Forest Land Fires in Indonesia: impacts and solutions. In: C. Colfer and L. Resosudarmo, eds. Which way forward? Forests, policy and people in Indonesia. Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future.

Aspiannur, Bato Ubang and H. M. Abberger


Metode Tradisional Pembersihan Lahan Pada Salah Satu Suku Dayak di Kalimantan Timur: pembukaan ladang de desa Long Sungai Barang. Samarinda, MoF, GTZ and KfW (Integrated Forest Fire Management Project).

Boer, Chandradewana


Effects of the forest fire 1982-93 in East Kalimantan on wildlife. Samardinda, Deutsche Forstservice GmbH, FR-Report No. 7.

Bompard, J. M. and P. Guizol


Land management in the province of South Sumatra, Indonesia. Fanning the flames: The institutional causes of vegetation fires. European Union and Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops, Palembang, Indonesia.

Bowen, M. R., Bompard, J. M., Anderson, I. P., Guizol, P., and Gouyon, A.


Anthropogenic fires in Indonesia: A view from Sumatra. European Union and Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops, Palembang, Indonesia.

Brookfield, H., Potter, L., and Byron, Y.


In place of the forest: Environmental and socio-economic transformation in Borneo and the eastern Malay Peninsula. Tokyo: United Nations Press.



Fire: The underlying causes and impacts of fires in Southeast Asia. USFS, Washington, D. C.



United States Southeast Asia Environmental Initiative (SEA-EI). Implementation status report. 13 pp (CIFOR files).


The underlying causes and impacts of fire in Indonesia. Proposal submitted to DG Ib. Forestry, European Union.

Golfer, C. J. P.

in press

Ten Propositions to Explain Kalimantan's Fires--A View From the Field. In: Which way forward? Forests, people and policy in Indonesia. C. Golfer and I. Resosudarmo, eds. Resources for the Future, Washington, DC.

Golfer, C. J. P., with Peluso and Chin


Beyond slash and burn: Building on indigenous management of Borneo's tropical rain forests. New York: New York Botanical Gardens.

Colfer, C. J. P. with Richard G. Dudley


Shifting cultivators of Indonesia: Marauders or Managers of the Forest? Rome: FAO Community Forestry Case Study No. 6.

Golfer, C. J. P. and Salim, A.


Pemanfaatan hutan oleh masyarakat Kenyah di Kalimantan Timur: Reaksi terhadap adanya El Nino, transmigrasi dan HTI [Kenyah forest use in East Kalimantan: Responses to El Nino, Transmigration and HTI). Manusia dan Lingkungan 15 (V): 3-22.

Golfer, C. J. P., Newton, B., and Herman


Ethnicity: An important consideration in Indonesian agriculture. Agriculture and Human Values VI (#3). Earlier version published in Proceedings, Centre for Soils Research Technical Meetings, Bogor, Indonesia (1986).

Golfer, C. J. P., Wadley, R. L., Woelfel, J., and Harwell, E.


From Heartwood to Bark in Indonesia: Gender and Sustainable Forest Management. Women in Natural Resources 18 (4): 7-14.

Dennis, R.


A review of fire projects in Indonesia (1982-1998). Bogor: CIFOR.

Gellert, P. K.


A brief history and analysis of Indonesia's forest fire crisis. Indonesia 65: 63-85.

Gonner, Christian


Causes and effects of forest fires: A case study from a Sub-District in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Paper presented at the ICRAF methodology workshop: Environmental Services and Land Use Change: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Research in Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai, 31 May-2 June.

Harwell, Emily


Remote sensibilities: discourses of technology and the making of Indonesia's natural disaster, 1997-98. Draft paper.

Hoffman, Anja


Personal communication, Samarinda, East Kalimantan (IFEM Project, GTZ).

LEAP (Land Evaluation and Planning)


Phase II: Outline planning, Muara Wahau East. Transmigration Area Development Project (TAD), Samarinda.

Massing, Andreas


Baseline suvey: Kecamatan Muara Wahau. Internal TAD report, Samarinda, East Kalimantan.

Mayer, Judith


Socioeconomic aspects of the forest fire 1982-83 and the relation of local communities towards forestry and forest management. Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Deutsche Forstservice GmbH, FR-Report No. 9.


Impacts of the East Kalimantan forest fires of 1982-83 on village life, forest use, and land use. In: Padoch, C. and N. Peluso, eds., Borneo in Transition: people, forests, conservation and development Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, pp. 187-218.

Moniaga, Sandra


The Kenyah shifting cultivators sovereignty and the Indonesian natural resource tenure law: A case in Long Segar, Muara Wahau, Kabupaten Kutai, East Kalimantan. Paper presented at The First Biennial Conference of the Borneo Research Council, 4-9 August, Kuching, Malaysia.

Nepstad, D. C., Moreira, A. G., and Alencar, A. A.


Flames in the rain forest: Origins, impacts and alternatives to Amazonian fire. Pilot program to conserve the Brazilian rain forest, Brasilia, Brazil.

Potter, L and Lee, J.


Oil palm in Indonesia: its role in forest conversion and the fires of 1997/98. A report for WWF, Indonesia Programme, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sakuntaladewi, N. and Amblani, M.


Investigation of the steps neeed to rehabilitate the areas of East Kalimantan seriously affected by fire: Socioeconomic aspects of the forest fire 1982-83 and the relation of transmigrants toward forestry and forest management in East Kalimantan. Deutsche Forstservice GmbH FR-Report No. 11, Samarinda, East Kalimantan.

Sardjono, M. A.


Test of social science assessment methods concerning indicators and criteria for sustainable forest management in East Kalimantan. CIFOR Report, Bogor.

Sentosa Agung and Lestari Jaya


Letter to the Bupati (03/KT-SA-LJ/HB-MM/VII/1999), 2 July.

Setiawati and K. Gunawan


Forest communities' livelihood strategies in a changing environment: Gender's response and its implications: Case from villages in Kutai and Pasir Districts, East Kalimantan.

Soedjito, Herwasono


Beberapa perbandingan tumbuhan pekarangan antara Long Sei Barand dan Long Segar, Kalimantan Timur. Impacts of human activities to plant communities in East Kalimantan (S. Soemodihardjo, ed.). Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)--Indonesian MAB Committee, Contribution No. 49, Jakarta, pp. 37-51.

Suyanto, S.


Fire, deforestation and land tenure in the North-Eastern fringes of Bukit Barisan Selatan National park, Lampung. ICRAF Research Paper, Bogor, Indonesia.


Impacts of human activities and land tenure conflict on fires and land use change: Case study of Menggala-Lampung-Sumatra. ICRAF Interim Report, Bogor, Indonesia.

Tuffs, Allison


Kaltim baseline nutrition survey results. Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Care Canada/CIDA.

Whitmore, T. C.


An introduction to tropical rain forests. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Wirawan, Nengah


Good forest within the burned forest area in East Kalimantan. Proceedings, Third Round Table Conference on Dipterocarps (A. J. G. H. Kostermans, ed.). Jakarta, UNESCO, pp. 413-425.

Woods, Paul


Drought and fire in tropical forests in Sabah--an analysis of rainfall patterns and some ecological effects. Proceedings. Proceedings, Third Round Table Conference on Dipterocarps (A. J. G. H. Kostermans, ed.). Jakarta, UNESCO, pp. 367-387.

Vayda, A. P.


Findings and causes of the 1997-98 Indonesian forest fires: Problems/Possibilities. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)--Indonesia, Jakarta.

Carol J. Pierce Colfer (2)

(2.) Anthropologist and Program Leader, Local People, Devolution and Adaptive Collaborative Management of Forests, at the Center for International Forestry Research, in Bogor, Indonesia.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Borneo Research Council, Inc
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Colfer, Carol J. Pierce
Publication:Borneo Research Bulletin
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Yong Kuet Tze. (Memorials).
Next Article:Dayak Kings, Malay sultans, oral histories, and colonial archives: a comment on Djuweng (1999) and Sellato (1999). (Research Notes).

Related Articles
Environmental change in native and colonial histories of Borneo: lessons from the past, prospects for the future. (Regional News).
Syaukani H.R., 2001, Pelaksanaan desentralisasi di bidang kehutanan dalam rangka pengelolaan hutan lestari di kabupaten Kutai Kertanagara.
New and more recent dating for the bronze water buffalo and rider from East Kalimantan.
Zahorka, Herwig, Die Erschliessungsfronten auf Borneo (Kalimantan) 1937 bis heute. Soziookonomische, ethnographische und okologische...
Kerry B. Collison, Indonesian Gold.
Notes from the editor.
Becoming Christian and Dayak: a Study of Christian Conversion among Dayaks in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Aldrianto Priadjati, Dipterocarpaceae: Forest Fires and Forest Recovery.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |