The burning of biomass in Asia – as a household cooking fuel, of agricultural residuals, and uncontrolled forest and peat fires – is an important impediment to development in Asia. It causes high burden on human health, adding to pollution from other sources. Haze episodes and associated response measures have severe economic consequences, ranging from restricted industrial production over closures of schools and airports to lower incomes from tourism. Often, fires raise regional tension, with international agents responsible for a significant share of the burning, and impacts affecting multiple countries.
Biomass burning is a major source of greenhouse gases emissions affecting the carbon cycle and climate change, although biomass use is often seen as a means for reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. There are also serious threats to biodiversity and soil structures.
Over the last years, biomass burning was strongly driven by development dynamics. Alleviation of poverty reduces the use of biomass as household fuel. In contrast, economic development alters agricultural practices and accelerates the conversion of land that can cause uncontrolled forest and peat fires. Weak governance hinders effective implementation of regulations. Social and economic development will significantly affect these drivers in the future.
IIASA and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) will organize an international workshop to
Last edited: 10 October 2018
2018 - 2019
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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