Peatland Management in Southeast Asia – Issues and Challenges

Sing Yun Chin, Tong Yiew Chee and Faizal Parish

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress


apms, asean, peatland-management, tropical-peatlands

Chin et al 2012: Peatland Management in Southeast Asia – Issues and Challenges


Theme IX. Tropical peatlands


Tropical peatlands are one of the most critical ecosystems in Southeast Asia, covering about 25 million ha. Peatlands are found in all ten ASEAN countries but the majority are concentrated in Indonesia and Malaysia. Tropical peatland forest in Southeast Asia was deforested at an approximate annual rate of 2.2% for the period 2000 to 2010. Most of this forest area has been cleared and drained especially for agriculture/plantations many of which may be unsustainable in the medium to long term due to problems of peat subsidence. A regional policy framework has been established to address the problem of peatland fire and degradation in the region through the Bali Concord II (2003), ASEAN Regional Haze Action Plan (1997), ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (2002) and ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS) 2006-2020. However, peatland management has not been provided clear policy direction at the national level and issues and challenges in the implementation of the APMS remains. Peatland management in Southeast Asia is a complicated issue that needs to be resolved in an integrated manner.