News

Current Articles | Search | Syndication
Add to iGoogle or Google Reader

UN-FCCC fails to address emissions from wetland destruction

10-Nov-2006

New research by Wetlands International, Delft Hydraulics and others shows the enormous impact of the peatland degradation in South-east Asia on carbon dioxide emissions. Annually, in Indonesia alone 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted from the peatlands: 600 million tonnes is caused by oxidation caused by drainage and 1.4 billion tonnes is caused by fires.
Despite this new evidence, the UN-climate Conference in Nairobi will probably not recognize this issue as a priority.  The current Clean Development Mechanism does not address this urgent issue.  Discussions on avoiding emissions from  deforestation in developing countries may lead to a new avenue for saving the remaining peatland forests - but is likely to take years to develop and will not address the problems in the already deforested peatlands. Thus the climate treaty currently doesn’t provide any incentives for the required immediate action. 

Local demands for economic development and poverty reduction as well as the global demand for hardwood, paper pulp and palm oil are the driving forces behind the destruction. Palm oil production is increasingly driven by the global demand for biofuels. The EU now requires substitution of 5% of fossil fuels for transport by biofuels. Indonesia and Malaysia currently produce over 80% of the world’s palm oil with one-quarter of oil palm plantations located on peat soils. They have recently announced that they will expand their plantation area and set aside 40% of their production for biofuel.
However, the production of 1 tonne palm oil on peat results in the release of about 20 tonne of carbon dioxide. Ironically the substitution of fossil fuels by these “biofuels” is thus increasing green house gas emissions.  

Moreover, the related land-use changes are destroying some of the last remaining tropical rainforests. Therefore development of oil palm and pulpwood plantations on peat should be avoided. In addition improved water management needs to be applied to reduce emissions from existing plantations on peat.

Download our article with figures on this issue here


Marcel Silvius  
Wetlands International 
+31-6-29586096  
www.wetlands.org   

Aljosja Hooijer
Delft Hydraulics
+31-6-15032628
www.wldelft.nl
   

Faizal Parish    
Global Environment Centre  
+60-12 322 7350   
www.peat-portal.net  

Press contact

Press can contact:

Ms. Ytha Kempkes
Communications and Advocacy Manager
Tel. +31 (0)318 660933
Email: ytha.kempkes@wetlands.org

Press kit

Latest Tweets

TweetId: 504369468731318272 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Thanks for visiting the @PEDRRnetwork event on ecosystem based DRR today @GRFDavos. Learn more: http://t.co/QdNCanxqso #wetlands #IDRC2014 26-08-14 20:47
TweetId: 503872721886126082 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Webinar from FAO: Challenges & Solutions for Responsible Peatlands Management. Enrol now:! http://t.co/Th8YHTQZnx #peatland #climatechange 25-08-14 11:53
TweetId: 503863370060406784 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Cigarettes & campfires may cause #peatland fires- but the ultimate cause of infernos are rooted in altered ecosystems http://t.co/nlhvy9X5BJ 25-08-14 11:16