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Fire and haze force Indonesia to think big in the wet

Oil palm and ananas plantation on drained peatland (Foto: Hans Joosten)

GMC’s tropical counterpart established

11/06/2016   Over two million hectare of peatland have been burning in Indonesia from August 2015 on. Precise CO2-emissions are yet to be assessed but may add up to over 10% of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2015 as GMC scientists roughly estimate. The economic damage of the 2015 fires exceeds US $16 billion according to early assessments of the World Bank and more than doubles the damage and losses from the 2004 tsunami. A call for urgent action which the Indonesian government understood well and adopted plans to restore ca. 2,7 million hectare of Indonesian peatlands within the next five years. To kick off ambitious the programme a workshop “Peatland paludiculture – an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve livelihoods” was organised in Jakarta by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia in May 2016. Prof. Hans Joosten of the Greifswald Mire Centre was invited to share the Greifswald expertise on the subject. He also visited the recently established Indonesian Centre of Excellence PLACE (Peatland Conservation and Productivity Improvement) at Sriwijaya University in Palembang, South Sumatera. The Greifswald Mire Centre and its tropical counterpart already agreed on future cooperation. An (Indonesian) student in the Greifswald study programme “Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation” is currently supporting the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency in developing guidelines for rewetting prioritization.


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