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      A Case Study on the Persistence of Swidden Agriculture in the Context of Post-2015 Anti-Haze Regulation in West-Kalimantan

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      Human Ecology

      Springer US

      Swidden agriculture, West Kalimantan, Environmental Policy, Southeast Asian Haze crisis, Political Ecology

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          Abstract

          This case study analyses a ban on the use of fire in a district of West-Kalimantan in response to the 2015 Southeast Asian Haze crisis. Based on stakeholder interviews and participant observation, I address the dilemmas encountered at the district and village level as a result of transnational environmental politics. A stark example of a wider tendency for policies to restrict swidden agriculture, the case study provides insight into the persistence of swidden . Contradictions between different stakeholders’ experiences and understandings of local human ecology and haze politics ultimately rendered the ban ineffective. Future efforts at regulating fire in smallholder agriculture would therefore benefit from a clearer understanding of the relationships between fire, subsistence, and haze.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden cultivation in tropical forest-agriculture frontiers: A global assessment

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            Swidden Change in Southeast Asia: Understanding Causes and Consequences

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              Policies, Political-Economy, and Swidden in Southeast Asia

              For centuries swidden was an important farming practice found across the girth of Southeast Asia. Today, however, these systems are changing and sometimes disappearing at a pace never before experienced. In order to explain the demise or transitioning of swidden we need to understand the rapid and massive changes that have and are occurring in the political and economic environment in which these farmers operate. Swidden farming has always been characterized by change, but since the onset of modern independent nation states, governments and markets in Southeast Asia have transformed the terms of swiddeners’ everyday lives to a degree that is significantly different from that ever experienced before. In this paper we identified six factors that have contributed to the demise or transformation of swidden systems, and support these arguments with examples from China (Xishuangbanna), Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These trends include classifying swiddeners as ethnic minorities within nation-states, dividing the landscape into forest and permanent agriculture, expansion of forest departments and the rise of conservation, resettlement, privatization and commoditization of land and land-based production, and expansion of market infrastructure and the promotion of industrial agriculture. In addition we note a growing trend toward a transition from rural to urban livelihoods and expanding urban-labor markets.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                paul.thung@gmail.com
                Journal
                Hum Ecol Interdiscip J
                Hum Ecol Interdiscip J
                Human Ecology
                Springer US (New York )
                0300-7839
                1572-9915
                27 February 2018
                27 February 2018
                2018
                : 46
                : 2
                : 197-205
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000 0001 0724 6933, GRID grid.7728.a, Department of Anthropology, , Brunel University, ; Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH UK
                Article
                9969
                10.1007/s10745-018-9969-y
                5906483
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funding
                Funded by: Brunel University
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                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

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