Washington International Law Journal


This special issue of the Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal assigned authors the ambitious task of analyzing the range of land use regimes around the Pacific Rim. As the authors and commentators met in October 1997, forest fires engulfed western Indonesia, sending thick smoke throughout Southeast Asia. When Sumatra and Kalimantan caught fire, Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Brunei literally coughed and choked. Vast tracts of forest were destroyed, local and urban dwellers became ill, and lives were lost directly and in transport accidents caused by haze. The question underlying events was whether this environmental disaster was entirely "natural," or resulted from forest clearance for logging-possibly illegal, certainly imprudent. Although apparently isolated and "local," the forest fires played out in microcosm the ways in which policy choices about regulation of land use extend beyond national boundaries in the Pacific Rim.

First Page