As forest fires raged in Indonesia six years ago, a thick, toxic smoke haze drifted across Southeast Asia that would threaten endangered orangutans, destroy huge swathes of forest and lead to more than 100,000 premature deaths.

In the aftermath, environmentalists and governments, both regional and local, demanded action from Jakarta, forcing a policy reset that in 2020 helped the country achieve a fourth straight year of declines in deforestation.

Bimo Dwisatrio, a senior research officer at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), said the 2015 crisis was a political game-changer for forest governance under Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi.