A. Hooijer, B. Triadi, O. Karyanto, S.E. Page, M. van der Vat and G. Erkens
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
drainage, flooding, subsidence, tropical-peatlands, water-management
Theme IX. Tropical peatlands
Drainage of peatlands leads to subsidence. This often eventually leads to gravity drainage and agricultural production becoming impossible, certainly if subsidence brings the land near sea level. In this paper, we demonstrate that serious drainability problems in SE Asia will start in a few decades after drainage and may lead to the end of agricultural production in between 30% and 69% of coastal peatlands within 50 years. We propose that in land use planning and economic cost-benefit analyses, the benefits of increasing agricultural productivity on peatlands in the short term should be weighed against the inevitable increase in water management costs and loss of production in the longer term.