Peatland destruction not only results in land fires, floods, and soil contamination, but also affects people’s lives. Due to damaged peatland, people have difficulties obtaining food and relying on the livelihoods they previously depended upon.
Damage to peatlands causes significant impacts to the peatland communities such as fires, floods, droughts, water and soil contamination, and air pollution from the fires.
The smoke, especially one that lasts for months due to forest and land fires, causes adverse impacts on the community. The smoke reduces visibility so drastically that many airports and schools have to be temporarily shut down, and it also increases the risk of traffic accidents. Fire smoke can also lead to respiratory disease. When a major forest and peatland fire occurred in 2015, around 500,000 Indonesians were suffering from ARI.
In addition, people who used to rely on natural products such as fish and/or other non-timber forest products have lost their livelihoods due to peatland destruction.