Peatland Restoration Partnership Models

A session by Peatland Restoration Agency

Date : Thursday, 9 November 2017
Time : 10.30 – 12.00
Venue : Indonesia Pavilion at COP 23, Bonn Zone, Bonn, Germany

Peatlands are found all over the world, come in many forms, display many different characteristics and are used in many different ways.  However, peatlands have recently come under increased threats including from overexploitation and fires. This trend is particularly prevalent in tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia, but may soon spread to other tropical regions.  Although peatlands only cover about 4 million km2 of the global land surface, however, they contain significant carbon stores[1] with  centimetre of peat depth containing about 6 tons of carbon per hectare[2]. In tropical areas[3], most peatlands are forested and contain about 50-70 Giga ton of carbon[4]. Despite their importance and the extent of the threats they face, peatlands, especially tropical peatlands are one of the least understood and monitored ecosystems, in part because of the difficulty in measuring and assessing status and trends.  In Indonesia, due to the magnitude of the 2015 peat and forest fires, the President announced a specific institutional approach to tackle the issue by establishing Peatland Restoration Agency or ‘BRG’ in January 2016 by Presidential Regulation Number 1 of 2016.  The BRG is mandated to facilitate and coordinate restoration of a minimum 2 million hectares of degraded peatlands in seven provinces up to 2020.

One of the key questions in peat restoration is how to ensuring that the peatland restoration is sustainable and that rapid response is enabled when dry peat or burned peatland areas are identified. For us, the inevitable answer is maximizing the role of the land holders. Who are the land holders? Is it the community, concession holders, or the government? Since the effective monitoring should be conducted at the local level, BRG needs to undertake cooperation with the various stakeholders. Oftentimes,  there are land tenure conflicts over peatland areas. In this case, conflict resolution between stakeholders is key, and support from civil society organizations focusing on conflict resolution practices is, thus, necessary. The collaboration platform needs to be framed in policies to make sure that the logistical capacity is sufficient and the applicability level is long termly.

The BRG has institutionalised forms of participation from local communities (including indigenous peoples), civil societies, and concessionaries in peatland restoration policies. This panel titled will elaborate how different entities on peatland existing in harmony for to fulfil three objectives: conservation, restoration, and prosperity of the local community.

 

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[1]Susan Page, John O’Neil Rieley, Christopher Banks. Global and regional importance of the tropical peatland carbon pool. Global Change Biology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, 17 (2), pp.798.

[2] http://www.carbonstockstudy.com/hcs-study/soil-carbon

[3] An estimated 89% of peatlands are found outside tropical areas. The boreal and sub-arctic tundra, which consists of a thick layer of peat, accounts for an estimated 1/3 of the world’s soil carbon stocks with an additional 12-14% found in the Arctic Tundra (http://www.eu-interact.org/outreach2/glossary/m-r/peat-peatland-peat-bog/). In the European Union, for instance, agriculture on peatland constitutes only 6% of all agricultural land but is responsible for 90% of the EU’s soil-related agricultural emissions and 50% of all agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

[4]Susan Page, John O’Neil Rieley, Christopher Banks. Global and regional importance of the tropical peatland carbon pool. Global Change Biology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, 17 (2), pp.798.

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