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PEAT, PULP AND PAPER: Climate Impact of Pulp Tree Plantations on Peatland in Indonesia. PROFESSOR JACK RIELEY University of Nottingham, UK Ramsar Scientific Technical Review Panel International Peat Society Orang Utan Foundation UK. AREA OF PEATLAND IN INDONESIA. Sumatra 8.3 M ha
Climate Impact of Pulp Tree Plantations on Peatland in Indonesia
Sumatra 8.3 M ha
Kalimantan 6.8 M ha
West Papua 4.6 M ha
Approximately 50% (~20 M ha) of tropical peatland occurs in Indonesia
A further 2.8 M ha occurs in Peninsular Malaysia and northern Borneo (Sarawak, Brunei)
~ 800 tree species
~ 71 families
~ 237 genera
Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus
There have been some problems!
Peatland fires were widespread in Kalimantan and Sumatra
Carbon losses from Indonesian peatland fires during 1997/98:
~ 55-95% of C emissions from all fires during that period in SE Asia[Schimel & Baker 2002; van der Werf et al. 2004, 2006]
Annual fire hotspot data for Borneo 1997 to 2006 [Langner et al. 2007]
355-874 Mt CO2 yr-1
(100–240 Mt C yr-1 )
557-981 Mt CO2 yr-1
(150-270 Mt C yr-1 )
Drainage emissions are equivalent to 1.4–3.5 % of global emissions from fossil fuels (25,000 Mt CO2yr-1)
[Hooijer, Silvius, Wosten & Page, 2006]
Oil palm plantation 2.3 m loss 1976-2007
Linked to protection of remaining natural forest
The impact of different land uses on tropical peatland in Indonesia (oil palm and pulp tree plantations) on CO2e emissions compared to natural, peat swamp forest and deforested, drained and degraded peatland.
We use data from both primary and secondary sources to estimate the likely magnitude of the inputs to and outputs from tropical peatland carbon stores under different land uses and the changes that will take place to these stores over a period of 25 years representing the average economic life of an oil palm plantation (Corley & Tinker, 2003). Our focus is on carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane emissions from tropical peatland under all land uses is very low (Jauhiainen, 2005, Melling, 2005) while emissions of other greenhouse active gases, notably NO2, have not been studied in detail so far and are not included in this assessment.
The four land use scenarios are benchmarked to specific assumptions and conditions and are indicative only. For example the major assumptions of peat thickness of 4.4 m, bulk density of 0.09 g cm-3 and carbon content of 56% are the best estimates available at present and are obtained from detailed field sampling and analysis of peat cores. Of course not all tropical peat will have exactly these values and when data from other locations for similarly long, intact peat cores become available the model depicted in this paper can be updated. The comparisons, however, will remain valid.
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