Haze in western Indonesia, 1997


In 1997, a combination of exceptionally severe drought and indiscriminate burning of land intended for new rubber and oil palm plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan, and for a massive rice growing project in central Kalimantan, led to widespread fires.  For several months, a pall of smoke covered large parts of western Indonesia, severely disrupting communications and causing health problems for millions of people.

Further reading

Colfer, Carol J. Pierce, 'Fire in East Kalimantan: a panoply of practices, views, and [discouraging] effects',  Borneo Research Bulletin 32 (2001), pp. 24-56.

Dauvergne, Peter, 'The political economy of Indonesia's 1997 forest fires',  Australian Journal of International Affairs 52 no. 1 (1998),  pp.13-20.

Dennis, Rona A., and Carol P. Colfer, ‘Impacts of land use and fire on the loss and degradation of lowland forest in 1983-2000 in East Kutai District, East Kalimantan, Indonesia’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 27, no.1 (Mar 2006), pp. 30-48.

Eaton, Peter, and Miroslav Radojevic, eds, Forest fires and regional haze in Southeast Asia. Huntington, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, 2001.

World Conservation Monitoring Center, 1997, ‘Fire locations in Indonesia', October 1997, http://www.reliefweb.int/mapc/asi_se/sea_fir3.html


Map number from Cribb, Historical Atlas of Indonesia (2000)


Year span

1997 - 1997