The Indonesian archipelago is home to over a third of the world’s tropical peatlands. But around half of these tropical peatlands have been degraded through drainage, deforestation and burning – as a result of land clearance for forestry and agriculture. This degradation has led to enhanced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions placing Indonesia among the world’s top five emitter countries.
Indonesia has pledged to restore over 2 Mha of degraded peatlands in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change. However, peat restoration is a complex process, and requires careful monitoring to allow for an adaptive, iterative landscape-approach that fits well with local conditions and needs. Peatland monitoring, guided by science-based practice, can enhance the transparency and accountability of the reporting process, and hopefully ascertain higher degree of success in those efforts.
One approach for monitoring peatlands and its restoration involves use of criteria and indicators (C&I) that are easy to recognize, measure and monitor over time and are also locally relevant. Identified C & I should cover four aspects: (1) biophysical, (2) social, (3) economic, and (4) governance. This allows restoration targets to be adequately quantified, and the success measured.
With this intention, CIFOR in collaboration with the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) have laid out a plan to explore the criteria and indicators approach for tropical peatland restoration. The webinar is organized in collaboration with partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other partners forms part of a series of sessions within the activities of the Global Peatland Initiative (GPI) on different aspects of peatland management and wet livelihood opportunities. Continuous support by partners, such as USAID, NICFI, and UNEP-GPI have made this endeavour possible.
After the 1st webinar (2 Sept, 2020) which set the scene and explored generic C & I, 2nd webinar (14 Oct, 2020) explored the biophysical attributes including peatland vulnerability and risks due to fires. Topics like climate, soil, water/hydrology, greenhouse gas emissions and use of spatially explicit fire risks and distributions on peat landscapes were discussed in a more detailed manner in this webinar.
The 3rd webinar in this series is dedicated to exploring socio-economic and governance issues that pertains to sustainable use of tropical peatland landscapes over a longer term. The success of restoration measures and successful planned interventions are very crucial and are immensely important for all stakeholders connected to the peatlands. Identification and verification of C & I that cover socio-economic and governance issues are often difficult to quantify and therefore such aspects should be guided by broader principles which can capture the essence of these complex and interconnected relationships.