Cultivating non-timber forest products

Introduction

Indonesia is home to the largest area of tropical peatland in the world. Most of this habitat occurs on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and New Guinea. While New Guinea still hosts large areas of forested peatland, Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) have lost around 70 % of their peat swamp forest over the past 30-40 years.

Description

Deforestation, drainage and peat fires in Indonesia are responsible for a significant proportion of global CO2 emissions from land-use; drainage alone causes annual emissions of almost half a billion tonnes of CO2 (Dommain et al. 2012). With growing global demand for palm oil, the clearance and destruction of valuable peatlands is happening at an ever increasing rate. Oil palm and pulp plantations cover nearly 20% (2.2 million ha) of western Indonesia’s peatlands (Miettinen et al. 2012a) and the remaining peat swamp forests suffer from illegal logging and fire. If these conditions continue, peat swamp forests are predicted to disappear in western Indonesia by 2030 (Miettinen et al. 2012b). Many indigenous people suffer from poverty in the absence of sustainable land-use options on drained peatland. Although new plantations can offer employment and income, the loss of traditional livelihoods is an on-going challenge. In addition, the new infrastructure of plantations brings more people, and competition, into remote areas. The loss of soil fertility and rapid peat degradation associated with drained peatland will not only lead to more poverty but also the loss of habitable land.

Restoration Delivered

The establishment of trial plantations of various peat swamp forest species on rewetted peatland is a critical step to further identify and widen the suite of highly valuable species. This step is also required to engage local people in possible paludiculture businesses that would counteract poverty and thus increase the value of peatlands in general.

Site Activity

Restoration and paludiculture can be used to overcome peatland degradation and reduce poverty levels. By rewetting the land, the peat can be conserved and CO2 emissions can be substantially reduced. This action reduces the likelihood of peat fires and associated haze, leading to direct health-benefits for the local people. The cultivation of native swamp forest trees for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) offers an attractive source of income and, in addition, reforestation can help restore peatland hydrology, microclimate and biodiversityExamples of successful cultivation of native swamp trees are Jelutung (Dyera polyphylla; for latex), Tengkawang (Shorea spp.; for butter fat, oil) and rattan palms (Calamus spp.; for furniture, bags, mats). Another interesting tree for cultivation is Gemor (Alseodaphne coriacea). The bark of this tree is widely used as a mosquito repellent but, because it has become an important source of income, populations of Gemor are often overexploited. Cultivation would counteract the population decline and secure the supply of its bark.
{"zoom":6,"lat":-0.789275,"lon":113.921327}

Project Name: Cultivating non-timber forest products

Organisation / Lead partner: University of Palangka Raya

Approximate area covered: 59968 ha

Predominately: Lowland

Dawn at Marches Mosses by Stephen Barlow
Marches Mosses marks 30-year milestone in fight against climate change An internationally important lowland raised peat bog between England and Wales celebrates its 30th…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Virtual Peatland Pavilion for COP26 UNFCCCWe are delighted to launch a new dome in the Virtual Peatland Pavilion for COP26 UNFCCC.
Peat-free Horticulture: Demonstrating Success
New report shows peat-free opportunity for horticulture industry'Peat-free Horticulture – Demonstrating Success' is now the third publication in the series and was…
Peatland Pavilion at COP26
Peatland Pavilion at UNFCCC COP26 - Online Registration openThe Peatland Pavilion at UNFCCC COP26 will highlight the importance of global peatlands for the…
A virtual tour will include peatland restoration research at SRUC's Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms.
Climate solutions from peatlands to parasitesAs world leaders arrive in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), scientific experts…
Figure 2
Research reveals a quarter of Europe’s peatlands are degraded, ahead of key climate and biodiversity summitsNew research finds that 25% of Europe’s peatlands are degraded, increasing to 50% -120,000km2- when…
MFFP image
Peak District study reveals depths of carbon stored in threatened landscapesWith the UN Climate Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow in under one months’ time, a new study…
WaterLANDS logo
WaterLANDS: New European Green Deal project launched to lead largescale restoration of European wetlandsAn ambitious project has been launched to tackle largescale restoration of Europe’s wetlands, with…
A detail from the map indicating areas of the highest carbon potential (in red) derived from the peat motion map covering the period 2016-21.  Potential carbon savings and their market value per annum are indicated for the different areas highlighted.
Satellite Map Identifies Peatland Areas where Restoration has the Greatest Carbon ImpactPeatland organisations and experts from across the globe have joined together to pledge their…
Peatland Pavilion concept
Peatland Pavilion will feature at UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)The Peatland Pavilion will provide a hub for highlighting the important role that peatlands play…
Bord na mona
United Nations recognizes major Irish Peatland Restoration initiativeDianna Kopansky of the United Nations Environment Programme has recognised the initiative led by…
GPI logo
Open call! Your opportunity to participate as a Contributing Author for the GPI’s upcoming Global Peatlands AssessmentThe Global Peatlands Initiative are currently looking for Contributing Authors (CAs) to participate…