The Sumatra and Kalimantan peatland fires in 2015 created a regional haze crisis that severely degraded the land in Buntoi Village, Central Kalimantan. In response, farmers in the village are imposed upon stricter enforcement on slash-and-burn prohibition for land clearing purposes. In addition, there has been a multinationally-funded experiment to grow bioenergy crops on Buntoi’s fire-prone and degraded peatland. This study aims to disentangle the political context of rural economy by gauging two land-use interventions that affect the sustainability of rural livelihood through participant observation and in-depth interviews with 22 respondents. Results show that (i) burning restriction has contributed to the change of rural subsistence livelihoods and (ii) bioenergy crops is not seen as a substitute for subsistence, and (iii) although farmers are generally interested to grow bioenergy crops on degraded peatlands, they would still prioritize fast-cycle crops to subsist. In conclusion, this study shows how sustainable land-use policy have created new rural vulnerabilities to access natural resources and that sustainable land-use paradigm should be spearheaded by drawing more attention to customary practice without completely revoking global interests on minimizing land-burning. Moreover, improving bioenergy development on degraded peatlands as secondary livelihood is just as imperative.