Experts and resource users split over solutions to peatland fires

Phelps, J. and Zabala, A. and Daeli, W. and Carmenta, R. (2021) Experts and resource users split over solutions to peatland fires. World Development, 146: 105594. ISSN 0305-750X

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We provide empirical evidence that supports a commonly-held assumption: that experts’ appraisals of policy options are often very distinct from those of resource users most affected by those policy choices. We analyse perspectives about 40 policy options to address peatland fires in Indonesia, using a Q methodology approach to rank the options according to perceived effectiveness. Peatland fires in Indonesia are a long-standing and complex social-ecological challenge, where unsolved disagreements about policy options have profound implications for environmental governance, resulting in fires recurring and causing significant CO2 emissions and transboundary haze that affects the health of millions. We collected data from 219 respondents, covering twelve stakeholder categories, including small and large landholders, industrial farmers, scientists, local leaders and government officials. We identified the most representative response from each stakeholder category, and used hierarchical cluster analysis to explore the closeness/distance in perspectives among categories. The results show a particularly noticeable distinction between two broad groups, which we labelled as experts and resource users. Experts tend to prefer solutions that are centralised and largely transformative, whereas resource users favour more localised measures that are more compatible with business-as-usual. We discuss possible reasons for these differences, and their implications for environmental governance, including for how scientists engage in policy.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
World Development
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in World Development. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in World Development, 146, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105594
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? governanceindonesiaperceptionsperspectivespolicyq methodologysoutheast asiawildfiresdevelopmenteconomics and econometricssociology and political sciencegeography, planning and development ??
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Deposited On:
04 Feb 2022 09:40
Last Modified:
12 Feb 2024 00:40