All our publications and other materials

Current publications | Search

Current and future CO2 emissions from drained peatlands in Southeast Asia

This is the first peer reviewed scientific article on the global carbon dioxide emissions due to peatsoil degradation and loss, with a focus on Southeast Asia. The article is based on the work for the report Peat-CO2 that presents the shocking figures about emissions due to drainage and fires in Southeast Asia.


Biogeosciences, 7, 1505–1514, 2010 -


Of the 27.1 Million hectares (Mha) of peatland in Southeast Asia, 12.9 Mha had been deforested and mostly drained by 2006. The size of this drained peatland area is increasing rapidly because of increasing land development pressures.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission caused by decomposition of drained peatlands was between 355 Mt y−1 and 855 Mt y−1 in 2006 of which 82% came from Indonesia, largely Sumatra and Kalimantan. At a global scale, CO2 emission from peatland drainage (fires excluded) in Southeast Asia only is contributing the equivalent of 1.3% to 3.1% of current global CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel. If current peatland development and management practices continue, these emissions are predicted to continue for decades.

The Article is published in Biogeosciences.

Related Action(s):
Central Kalimantan Peatland Project, Peat, biodiversity and climate change

share by email email