Issues and Opportunities in coastal and peatswamp forests in South East Asia


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By Marcel Silvius, Head of Programme and Strategy, Wetlands International

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Issues and Opportunities in coastal and peatswamp forests in South East Asia

  1. 1. Issues and opportunities in coastal and peat swamp forests in South-east Asia By Marcel Silvius Brunei 22 March 2012
  2. 2. Mangrove forest OK Don’t forget the ecosystem values: •Carbon store •Coastal protection •Fisheries •Biodiversity •Amenity values: Tourism
  3. 3. Many migratory species• East Asian – Australasian Flyway (EAAF) extends from Alaska, the Russian Far East and Siberia through SE Asia to Australia and New ZealandMigratory waders depend• > 50 million waterbirds on healthycoastal ecosystems• Migration in north-south ‘flyways’
  4. 4. Mangrove lossDrivers:•Logging•Conversion for aquacultureand agriculture•Conversion forinfrastructure (roads,housing)
  5. 5. Peat swamp forest
  6. 6. Inside primary peat swamp forest(Belait peat swamp forest, Brunei)
  7. 7. What is so special about peatlands?Peat: organic matter accumulated over thousands of years storing carbon in thick layers A peat bog is rain water fed Peat swamp forest River Mineral Soil River Organic matter + 90% water Peatlands cover 3% of the global land surface
  8. 8. Key role in the water cycle• Globally 10% of all freshwater• Source areas of many rivers• Important for water storage and supply• Crucial for mitigation of droughts and floods
  9. 9. Peatlands: Threatened carbon stores• Globally peatlands store 550 Giga ton (Gt) C• 30% of terrestrial carbon – twice the carbon stored in forests• drained and degrading: 15% (50 million ha)• emissions: 2 Gt CO2 per annum (25% increase since 1990)• 6% of global emissionsPeatlands store large amounts of carbon Peatland degradation leads to CO2 emissions which contribute to global warming
  10. 10. Globally degrading peatlands are hotspots of CO2 emissions Russia EUUSA 160 Mt 174 Mt72 Mt 115 Mt Central Asia 1 Gt SE Asia
  11. 11. Drivers of peatland degradation in SE Asia•Deforestation– Legal & illegal logging•Fires•Drainage– Agriculture– Infrastructure– Pulpwood & Palm oil plantations
  12. 12. Loss of CarbonNatural forest intoplantation: above ground Carbon release 153 – 359 t C ha-1 (once)Logged forest toplantation: above ground Carbon release 47 – 214 t C ha-1 (once)Drainage of peat: continuous Carbon release: 7 - 40 t C ha-1 every year !!
  13. 13. Oil palm on peatCrop Emission tCO2/TJ Fuel Emission tCO2/TJPalm oil 600 Fuel oil 73 Berbak National park, Jambi, Indonesia
  14. 14. Trade / economic consequences• Opportunity loss – EU • Renewable Energy directive: No biofuel from feed stock derived from drained peatlands • Fuel Quality Directive: No biofuels from peatlands – USA • EPA-420-F-11-046: December 2011: Palm oil does not meet the minimum 20% lifecycle GHG reduction threshold needed to qualify as renewable fuel• Extra costs for responsible producers to certify and market sustainable palm oil
  15. 15. Long-term impacts of peatland degradation• Climate change• Loss of biodiversity• Loss for other business sectors• Major soil subsidence and flooding
  16. 16. Socio-economic impact of peatland fires on peoplePeatland fires: • 30% of children under 5 have respiratory• Millions ha peat forest burned illnesses and stunted• Major public health issues growth• Millions of working & school days • Social & ethnic lost tensions• Billions of $ lost through impacts on • Vicious cycle of transport and tourism sectors environmental degradation & over- exploitation
  17. 17. International tensions / political impacts Smog and smoke over SE-Asia © NASA TOMS 22 Oktober 1997Malaysia in September 2005
  18. 18. Towards solutionsTowards solutions
  19. 19. Green Coast Policy• Shift coastal settlements inland• Adjust coastal spatial planning• Maintain a Green Belt• Apply Sylvo-fisheries & place ponds behind mangroves
  20. 20. DRR A model being promoted in Aceh Sylvo-fishery: DRR + Livelihood + Mitigate CC
  21. 21. Silvo-fishery pond- Cikeong, West JavaSilvo-fishery pond- Pemalang, Central Java
  22. 22. East Asian Australasian Flyway• International cooperation for the conservation and sustainable management of coastal areas that are key for migratory waterbirds• Join the EAAF Partnership• Nominate key areas for the network.
  23. 23. South-east Asian peatlands rehabilitation and conservation• Rehabilitation of half of SE Asia’s degraded peatlands (6.5 million ha) can prevent 1 Gt of CO2/yr: = 6 ppmv over 100 year• Conservation of undeveloped peat swamps (Moratorium) can prevent 1.5 Gt CO2/yr: = 9 ppmv over 100 years• Peatland emission reduction can prevent major atmospheric carbon increase: 15 ppmv over 100 years, or about 15% of what is needed to stop climate change
  24. 24. Priorities for achieving reduction targets1. Preventing further peatland degradation:• No more logging• No more conversion• Revoke existing concessions - shift to degraded mineral soil areas• Exclude products of drained peatlands from supply chains2. Rehabilitation of degraded peatlands
  25. 25. Peatland Ecosystem Restoration• Rewetting & reforestation• Fire prevention & control• Local economic development• Sustainable finance Carbon markets Private sector• Policy embedding Ecosystem Restoration legislation REDD+ Moratorium on Conversion and Drainage of Peatlands
  26. 26. Wetlands International’s frameworks of cooperation• UNFCCC – Wetlands in LULUCF – Peatlands in REDD+• Private sector – world wide portfolio of peatland and mangrove projects targeting carbon markets• German International Climate Initiative – 65,000 ha peatland restoration in Moscow Oblast; German-Russian cooperation• IPS – Responsible Peatland Management Strategy – Development certification• RSPO – Peat Land Working Group – GHG working group – Carbon neutral palm oil production• EU & USA – No biofuel produced on peat
  27. 27. Community-based implementation• Local stakeholders can benefit – Employment – Benefit sharing – Micro-credits (Bio-rights & CSR • Sustainable development in bufferzones • Sharing of business in concession – tourism, fisheries, NTFP, timber • in return participation in environment management – Build capacity of local NGOs and science institutes – Healthy environment
  28. 28. Science base development Peatland restoration is possible & MRV-ableAvailable at
  29. 29. Message• Brunei’s peat and mangrove swamp forests are in good shape.• This offers opportunity for sound development and conservation • fisheries, including aquarium fish trade • international carbon trade • freshwater supply for coastal municipalities and industry • tourism development• Interesting investment option for international research • ecosystem functioning • genetic and species biodiversity • carbon sequestration• Benefit of disaster risk reduction, preventing the significant costs related to soil subsidence, flooding and resulting land loss
  30. 30. Thank y u More information