Wetlands and climate change emissions

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

Indonesia takes steps to halt and accelerate peatswamp loss

06-Mar-2009

The government of Indonesia took a promising step this week by asking World Bank for support in reducing carbon emissions from forest and peatland loss. However, last month, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture issued a decree (Indonesian / English translation) to open up peatswamp areas for the development of palm oil plantations.

These decisions are conflicting. Wetlands International strongly welcomes Indonesia’s proposal to support investments in reducing greenhouse gases by peatland restoration with the help of the REDD1 programme of the World Bank. The cost effectiveness of reducing emissions through restoration of drained peatlands is enormous since the drainage of 1 meter depth results in up to 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per hectare per year.

Under a REDD scheme, peatland restoration can thus clearly provide a major contribution to the mitigation of climate change. The emerging carbon market provides a significant opportunity for the government and local communities in Indonesia to develop alternative and sustainable livelihoods through forest and peatswamp conservation. It would, for the first time, place a high economic value on undrained peatswamp forests.

Restoring degraded peatlands

Wetlands International has worked with the Indonesian government and partners in Central Kalimantan over the last 3 years and demonstrated that drained and degraded peatlands can be restored by closing drainage canals and through reforestation with commercially valuable indigenous tree species. This reduces CO2 emissions and can even result in a process of carbon sequestration, while benefiting biodiversity and providing new opportunities for local livelihoods.

Controversial palm oil decree

Wetlands International is concerned that this promising and economically attractive development could be jeopardized  by the recently issued decree of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture to allow further conversion of peatlands to oilpalm plantations, that will lead to country wide increased greenhouse gas emissions instead of reductions. Receiving funds for REDD projects to reduce emissions in some areas while accelerating emissions in other locations amounts to “carbon leakage” and undermines the effectiveness and credibility of the initiative.

To be successful in reducing CO2 emissions, REDD requires a country-wide approach. Wetlands International urges the Indonesian government to take a leading role in ensuring the REDD programme is effectively implemented as a sustainable development solution for its peatlands and offers its support for this purpose. 

 

More information
Alex Kaat
Alex.kaat@wetlands.org
+31 (0)6 50601917
www.wetlands.org

 

Downloads:

The Decree of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture (Indonesian)

English translation of the decree

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), Readiness Plan Indonesia (R-Plan) Template and Guidance,  WORKING VERSION 2: October 16, 2008  

Indonesia REDD consolidation plan, Ministry of Forestry Republic of Indonesia, 2008

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: 524926883650342912 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt @freestylesamba Thanks for organising this great activity at our office! Just what we needed after our strategy session :) 22-10-14 14:14
TweetId: 524924563608829954 Wetlands Int. retweeted Ramsar Convention RamsarConv RamsarConv Compelling stories about how the restoration of wetlands is improving lives via @WetlandsInt. http://t.co/C3IMq7Rc7S http://t.co/mcMpOqjJ0M 22-10-14 14:05
TweetId: 524924496579686400 Wetlands Int. retweeted weADAPT weADAPT1 weADAPT1 Read key lessons&download @WetlandsInt 's report Downstream Voices:#Wetland Solutions to Reducing #DisasterRisk here: http://t.co/AfBY1p7NZa 22-10-14 14:05