This new video report from Al Jazeera (8-10-2015) shows how peat fires caused by palm oil plantations are threatening adjacent rainforests and their carbon-rich peatsoils in Katingan in Central Kalimantan. But it gets worse because of more canals built nearby the areas to fight the fires…! As peatland drainage is the root cause to Indonesia’s peat fires, the ONLY long-term answer to the haze disaster is to stop drainage, block existing canals, restore the peatlands and sustainably use them.
To that purpose Wetlands International is working with Pt Rimba Makmur Utama, Permian Global and Yayasan Puter Indonesia on an Ecosystem Restoration Concession permit for more than 108 000 hectares of peat swamp forest in Katingan. But guess what: the area next to our Ecosystem Restoration Concession has received a permit for a new palm oil plantation which will drain the area and all adjacent peat forests including in our restoration area. Now drainage and fires are threatening the restored and protected peat swamp.