Eluminada Roca has lived all her life next to the Leyte Sab-a Basin peatlands. The grandmother from of San Isidro village in Philippines’ Leyte island grew up looking at the green hills that feed water to the peatland, she harvested tikog—a peatland grass to weave mats—and ate the delicious fish that was once in abundant in the waters.
But today, the land is losing its water, the grass is disappearing and the fish stock has drastically decreased.
Last week, Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, ordered the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review the licenses of all companies that have converted peatlands to oil palm plantations.
In June, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were enveloped in haze as hundreds of forest fires burned across the island of Sumatra, in the worst pollution crisis to hit Southeast Asia in more than a decade.