Action: Adopt zero burning policies near peatlands
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of adopting zero burning policies near peatlands.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Fire is used, especially in tropical peatlands, to clear vegetation and prepare land for farming. If this fire is not controlled, it can spread to natural peatlands (Cattau et al. 2016). Land managers could adopt a zero burning policy in order to reduce the risk of fire escape. Procedures could involve cutting and shredding waste vegetation, then leaving it on site to decompose rather than burning it (Adinugroho et al. 2011). Zero burning policies have been adopted at the national level, and sometimes written into law, by members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Adinugroho et al. 2011). Some large plantation companies have also adopted zero burning policies (Page & Hooijer 2016).
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: clear/remove vegetation to prevent wild fire; rewet peat to prevent wild fire; increase ‘on the ground’ protection, including fire fighting teams; education and awareness-raising to prevent wild fire.
Adinugroho W.C., Suryadiputra I.N.N., Saharjo B.H. & Siboro L. (2011) Manual for the Control of Fire in Peatlands and Peatland Forest. Wetlands International Indonesia & Wildlife Habitat Canada, Bogor.
Cattau M.E., Harrison M.E., Shinyo I., Tungau S., Uriarte M. & DeFries R. (2016) Sources of anthropogenic fire ignitions on the peat-swamp landscape in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Global Environmental Change, 39, 205–219.
Page S.E. & Hooijer A. (2016) In the line of fire: the tropical peatlands of South East Asia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 371, 20150176.