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Saving the peat swamp forests of Brunei
 

Saving the peat swamp forests of Brunei

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A large part of Brunei consists of peat swamp forests; a very special but vulnerable type of wetland forest. One unique element of these areas is their peat soil; a metres deep layer of soft organic ...

A large part of Brunei consists of peat swamp forests; a very special but vulnerable type of wetland forest. One unique element of these areas is their peat soil; a metres deep layer of soft organic material, formed over thousands of years under conditions of waterlogging.

Peat swamp forest covers around 100,000 ha (17% of the land area) of Brunei. In contrast to neighbouring countries, the Brunei peat swamp forests are still relatively intact. It is estimated that 80% of peatlands are still covered by good quality peat swamp forest, the highest proportion of intact peat swamp forest in all of South East Asia – by far.

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    Saving the peat swamp forests of Brunei Saving the peat swamp forests of Brunei Presentation Transcript

    • WHY ARE BRUNEI’S PEAT SWAMP FORESTS IMPORTANT? The peat swamp forests of Brunei host a unique They are also huge water storage reservoirs, reducing biodiversity, with species such as the Bornean Clouded flood peaks after heavy rainfall in downstream areas Leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis), Proboscis Monkey and maintaining minimum flows in rivers during dry (Nasalis larvatus), the Storm’s Stork periods. The peat swamps are © S S LEE Proboscis Monkey © DAVE BAKEWELL (Ciconia stormi), False Gharial safeguarding the water supply CO 2 (Tomistoma schlegelii) and the Paint- from the Belait River for the vital ABOUT BRUNEI’S ed terrapin (Batagur borneoensis). oil and gas industries of Brunei. PEAT SWAMP FORESTS Intact peatlands absorb carbon All of these ecosystem services© S S LEE dioxide from the atmosphere. depend on the good health of They store carbon not only in the the peatlands. A large part of Brunei consists of peat swamp forests; a very special but vulnerable type of trees, but also in the peat, which wetland forest. One unique element of these areas is their peat soil; a metres deep layer of may reach up to 12 m in depth. In CO 2 soft organic material, formed over thousands of years under conditions of waterlogging. fact, peat swamps are key areas CO 2 CO 2 (top) for limiting climate change. Carbon stored in vegetation and sediments Peat swamp forest covers around 100,000 ha (17% of the land area) of Brunei. In contrast to Losing these carbon dense areas (bottom) neighbouring countries, the Brunei peat swamp forests are still relatively intact. It is will increase the levels of carbon Carbon is released when estimated that 80% of peatlands are still covered by good quality peat swamp forest, the dioxide in the atmosphere. peat swamps are cleared highest proportion of intact peat swamp forest in all of South East Asia – by far.
    • © S S LEE © JONATHAN DAVIES WHAT ARE THE MAJOR THREATS WHAT ARE WHAT IS BEING DONE AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES THE SOLUTIONS? TO SAFEGUARD For further information please visit our website or TO BRUNEI’S PEAT SWAMP FORESTS? © S S LEE BRUNEI’S PEATLANDS? contact our offices. Wetlands International 3A31, Block A The major threat to peatlands is drainage for logging, to huge amounts of carbon being released to the An ongoing action plan for Brunei peatlands has carried out several Kelana Centre Point agriculture or building roads. The forests die and the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, increasing awareness and capacity building programmes and assessments in Jalan SS7/19, Petaling Jaya 47301 Selangor, Malaysia organic soil dries out so that peat areas are no longer the rate of climate change. Brunei to gain support from government agencies, the private T: +60 3 7804 6770 able to provide their ecosystem services. The dry peat sector and the general public in the implementation of F: +60 3 7804 6772 The loss of peat through drainage also becomes very susceptible to burning; all that rehabilitation projects in degraded peatlands in Brunei. This work is E: malaysia@wetlands.org.my and fire leads to land subsidence, Conserve entire intact peat swamps. www.malaysia.wetlands.org remains is a very fire prone area. being carried out by a project funded by the Foreign and which may lead to problems of ···· Commonwealth Office of the UK Government and Standard Wetlands International The smog events which affect Brunei, severe flooding in affected PO Box 471, 6700 AL Restore drained or logged areas by Chartered Bank under the Heart of Borneo Initiative. With an Indonesia and Malaysia are mostly due to areas. The valuable hydrological Wageningen encouraging response from participating stakeholders, Wetlands The Netherlands burning peat swamps. In Indonesia, functions of reducing flood peaks and blocking drainage canals and International plans to join this endeavour and to work closely with T: +31 318 660910 peat fires have become an almost maintaining minimum flows in rivers are also by replanting, using appropriate species. F: +31 318 660950 these stakeholders in future projects to rehabilitate degraded E: post@wetlands.org annual problem, lasting for lost. Moreover, the unique biodiversity, particularly the ···· peatlands and to contribute towards better understanding of the www.wetlands.org months and causing an vegetation of the peat domes and the habitat of many Prevent and directly control fires. importance of peatlands in Brunei as well as incredible smoke problem. rare species, is destroyed. Recovery may not occur ···· the region. Drainage and fire events lead unless measures are taken. Help local people to find an income without harming the peatlands such as False Gharial Storm’s Stork © JAMES EATON sustainable forestry and ecotourism. © ZOO NEGARA MALAYSIATO SUSTAIN AND RESTORE WETLANDS, THEIR RESOURCES AND BIODIVERSITY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.