Biomass Burning in Asia

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. Solutions require a systems perspective and international cooperation.

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.

An interdisciplinary workshop

IIASA and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) will organize an international workshop to

  1. develop a science-based solution-oriented systems perspective on biomass burning in Asia, and to
  2. devise a plan for collaborative follow-up research activities to explore systems solutions to reduce the adverse impacts of biomass burning while contributing to the development targets.

Project partners

Key findings

  • forthcoming

Publications

  • forthcoming


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Last edited: 10 October 2018

CONTACT DETAILS

Markus Amann

Program Director

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

T +43(0) 2236 807 432

Timeframe

2018 - 2019

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313