Carbon loss associated with land-use change in tropical peatlands: methods and estimates

During the past decade, Southeast Asian peat swamp forests have been deforested at double the rate of any other forest type. This deforestation is driven by wood production and demand for land on which to establish agriculture, including oil palm and timber plantations. In this presentation given in Vietnam on September 2011 at the annual REDD-ALERT meeting, CIFOR scientist Kristell Hergoualc'h shows how she and other CIFOR scientists assessed carbon losses from wildfires and land conversion in virgin peat swamp forests. They found that peat carbon loss contributes more than 63% to total carbon loss, demonstrating the urgent need to protect tropical peat swamp forests from land-use change and fires in the fight against climate change.

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