Burning bush

Forest fires raging across Central Kalimantan have destroyed vital peat swamp forests – and exacerbated climate change. “Underground fire is particularly difficult to stop, because it’s embers, not flames,” says Dr Suwido Limin, an Indonesian expert in tropical peat swamp forest. Travelling with Dr Limin, this edition of Earth Report explored the fallout from the conflagration, and assessed the full scale of the disaster.

Earth Report travelled to Indonesia where fires have layed waste to vast areas of peat swamp forest. The world’s tropical forests store 25% of all terrestrial carbon and absorb 15% of our annual C02 emissions. But when those forests are cleared the tables are turned and forests emit CO2 rather than storing it. Scientists estimate that deforestation contributes up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Earth Report ‘Burning Bush’ was produced with the support of the UN-REDD Programme