Peatland Restoration

Indonesia has about 20-21 million ha of peatland, including 13 million ha in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Over the past 2 decades most of the peat swamp forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan have been logged, drained, and converted to oil palm and acacia plantations, or lie idle in a degraded state. While logging and plantations have brought wealth to private companies, it has come at a public cost as peatland development has led to a large increase in carbon emissions, and peatland fires that have major economic and health impacts. The core problem is that drainage of peatlands leads to peat decomposition and land subsidence. Drained peatlands are prone to fire, emit large quantities of carbon and become increasingly subject to flooding in the coming decades, ultimately leading to a major loss of productive land. To address these issues, President Jokowi established the national Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) in January 2016. BRG uses a 3-R approach towards tackling the problem based on a program of rewetting, revegetation, and revitalization of local economies. This talk will present current peatland restoration issues and experience with rewetting of degraded peatland in Berbak (Jambi) through canal blocking with compacted peat dams and box dams.

  • Speaker: Wicher Boissevain;
  • Place: Eastern Promise Pub & Restaurant, Jalan Kemang Raya No 5, Kemang, Jakarta Selatan;
  • Date: Tuesday 23rd August 2018;
  • Time: 6.30pm.