Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
Theme IX. Tropical peatlands
Tropical peat is a significant local, regional and global carbon store. Climatic scenarios in South East Asia show increase in temperature and variability of rainfall that are likely to have negative impacts on peat net carbon balance. Land reclamation decreases forest area and thus increases loss of carbon stores and causes biotic impoverishment. Sustainable peat management has potential to significantly reduce carbon losses and extend peat resource lifespan.
Deforestation, fires and peat fires significantly contribute to greenhouse gases. Fire became the most dangerous threat to Indonesian forests and peatlands in the past 15 years . Results after the fires : 32% of investigation area burned, of which 92% was peatland , fire-damaged peatland area comprised 47% peat swamp forest (mainly logged-over & Fragmented), 53% deforested peatland, and only 5% of pristine, unlogged forest was burnt. (Siegert…)
According to an article by Van der Werf et al (2009), deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, after fossil fuel combustion. Therefore a measurement standard for deforestation is definitely needed in order to know the carbon emission resulting from deforestation.
In June 2007, the illegal logging issue was again discussed at the G8 Summit of the leaders of the wealthiest nations. The G8 Summit Declaration linked illegal logging, deforestation and climate change, stating that the world leaders would “support existing processes to combat illegal logging”, noting that it is “one of the most difficult obstacles to further progress in realizing sustainable forest management and therefore, in protecting forests worldwide.”
To avoid or minimize the emission of carbon dioxide the maintenance of large stores of carbon in tropical forest and deforestation should be a priority in terms of GHG management. The Indonesian Government has indicated a commitment that the country would cut emissions down to 26 percent from projected levels by 2020, and possibly further down to 41 percent if supported by industrialized countries. According to data from the World Resources Institute, more than 80 percent of Indonesia’s emissions resulted from deforestation and degradation of carbon-rich ecosystems such as peatlands