How can REDD support the management of vulnerable carbon pools in Indonesian peatlands?

Daniel Murdiyarso, Nyoman Suryadiputra, Sonya Dewi and Fahmuddin Agus

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Tropical Peatlands

production, protection, redd, rehabilitation, tropical-peatland

Murdiyarso et al. 2008: How can REDD support the management of vulnerable carbon pools


Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is a new mechanism currently proposed by the international community under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). If it is implemented it will address 20% of the global emissions that are not covered under the Convention’s Kyoto Protocol. In this context REDD in forested peatlands would offer multiple benefits from social, economic and environmental perspectives. As a vulnerable ecosystem with a huge carbon pool, peatlands have to be prioritised in terms of their contributions to the global carbon budget and other ecosystem services, such as flood regulation and habitats for diverse flora and fauna. Indonesian peatlands are estimated to cover an area of ap- proximately 21 Mha, distributed mainly in Sumatra (7.2 Mha), Kalimantan (5.8 Mha) and Papua (8.0 Mha). The peat occurs with varying thicknesses and stages of decomposition, related to age or maturity. Most of the forested and degraded deep peat is located in Riau Province, Sumatra. In the past 5 years (2000-2005) the rates of deforestation on peatlands were 89,251 ha y-1 in Sumatra and 9,861 ha y-1 in Kalimantan. In Sumatra, de- forestation occurred mostly on very deep peat especially in Riau Province (around 33,049 ha/y), while in Central Kalimantan it occurred on both shallow peat (1,620 ha y-1) and very deep peat (2,569 ha y-1). Based on the prospective REDD management options and potential threats to the carbon assets of Indonesian peatlands we propose three clusters namely, conservation, production, and conversion. We suggest that con- servation, rehabilitation and wise use of peatland are managed differently. National Parks and protected areas can be managed with new conservation management involving a wide range of stakeholders. Areas under concession should be managed wisely to obtain maximum benefits.