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Status of peatland in Malaysia: Its relation to CO2 emissions and climate change

There are increasing pressures on peatland areas for conversion, especially for conversion to oil palm plantations, anticipating the increased demand for oil palm as a biofuel. This will result in substantially increased CO2 emissions from converted peatlands, increased incidence of fire and increased periods of “haze". Of particular concern is the potential for oil palm plantations to expand into High Conservation Value peat swamp forest (HCVPSF). This project aimed at gathering and disseminating relevant information on these threats.


Action Description:

To promote the wise use of peatlands in Malaysia through developing a solid scientific foundation based on sustainable management initiatives.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES 1. Determine status of, and development plans for, peatlands in Malaysia and disseminate information to stakeholders nationally and internationally.

 2. Recommend policy changes to achieve more effective conservation of peatlands.

 3. Develop a government-endorsed plan for further action needed in conservation sustainable use and rehabilitation of peatlands in Malaysia, especially targeted at minimising CO2 emissions and preventing conversion of HCVPSF.

Project Duration: One year

Activities 

1. Collate existing most recent data on the area, distribution and land use/land cover on peatlands in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

2. Analyse/review government policies at the State and Federal level relating to peatlands and policies of financing institutions and the private sector related to peatlands.

3. Conduct rapid ground truthing surveys if needed, where data are old or lacking.

4. Produce GIS maps of peatland area and distribution divided into land use categories.

 5. Produce report on status of peatlands in Malaysia with analysis of trends, recommendations on further actions, policy changes needed etc., especially in the light of pressure for development on peatlands.

 6. Organise and conduct “Status of peatlands in Malaysia” national workshop to disseminate results, finalise report and produce a draft policy for peatlands.

7. Produce publicity materials to present findings and recommendations at the relevant national and international fora: e.g. UNFCCC.


Action Partners:

Embassy of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands, Malaysia