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Topic B3. Peat swamp forests for adaptation: potentials and vulnerability Matthew Warren.

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Presentation on theme: "Topic B3. Peat swamp forests for adaptation: potentials and vulnerability Matthew Warren."— Presentation transcript:

1 Topic B3. Peat swamp forests for adaptation: potentials and vulnerability Matthew Warren

2 The Tropics are the first to feel the effects of Climate Change. “…the earliest emergence of unprecedented climates will occur in areas with the greatest number of species on Earth, where a large proportion of the world’s human population lives and where conservation and economic capacity to adapt are limited.” — Mora et al Topic B3. Slide 2 of 20

3 Tropical Peatlands Peatlands are distributed throughout the tropical world, with the majority occurring in SE Asia. They too, will be affected by climate change. Topic B3. Slide 3 of 20 SE Asia 56% (Indonesia and Malaysia: 53%) South America 24% (Peru and Brazil: 17%) Africa 13% Central America & Caribbean 5% Asia 1% Source: Page et al. (2011) Global Change Biology 17(2) DOI: /j x

4 Most tropical peatlands are formed by highly productive tropical rainforests known as Peat Swamp Forests (PSF). In many ways, these forests are similar to other tropical rainforests, such as in the size and density of large trees. However, unique biological communities are specially adapted to thrive in the flooded, oxygen poor environment. Topic B3. Slide 4 of 20

5 Peat swamp forests can also be palm-dominated For example in Southern Papua Indonesia and in the upper Amazon basin of Peru. Sago swamp forest, Papua IndonesiaAmazonian peat swamp, Peru Topic B3. Slide 5 of 20

6 Ecosystem Services Tropical peatlands supply numerous ecosystem services, including: Topic B3. Slide 6 of 20 Provisioning RegulatingSupporting Cultural Timber and natural forest products Water supply Fish production Primary productivity Nutrient cycling Water cycling Tanjung Puting National Park Cultural values -Spiritual -Recreational -Educational -Historical -Traditional -Aesthetic Image courtesy of F. Rahman Hydrology - Flood Mitigation - Maintain baseflows - Prevent saltwater intrusion - Groundwater (recharge and discharge) Pollination Sediment, nutrient and toxin removals Carbon Sink Adapted from: Guidelines on integrated management planning for peatland forests in Southeast Asia. ASEAN Peatland Forest Project.

7 Ecosystem Services Uses of peat swamp forest plants Topic B3. Slide 7 of 20 1,376 Species found in lowland peat swamp forests 8-10% restricted to this habitat 534 (39%) have a known use 222 (16%) for timber 221 (16%) for medicine 165 (12%) for food 165 (12%) for other uses (latex, fuel, dyes, etc.) Many species have multiple uses Source: Giesen (2013) Swamp Jelutung Dyera polyphylla produces latex with economic value.

8 Biodiversity Conservation Topic B3. Slide 8 of 20 Peat swamp forests are habitat for numerous rare and endangered species, and considered important refugia for primates and felids (Nowak 2013).

9 Converting tropical peat swamp forest to other land uses releases very large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from peat decomposition and burning. Drainage lowers the water table, and aerated peat decomposes rapidly in the humid tropical environment. Fire is commonly used to clear unwanted surface biomass to prepare land for planting. Biomass burning on peatlands often spreads into the surface peat layer, creating smoldering peat fires that are extremely difficult to extinguish. Peat consumption by fire can range from a few centimeters to over a meter, depending on peat conditions and the duration of the burn. Tropical Peat Swamps and Climate Change Topic B3. Slide 9 of 20 Top: Large drainage canal in West Kalimantan located on peatland 3-5m thick. The area is being prepared for oil palm cultivation. Bottom: Active peat fire on the margins of peat swamp forest in Riau, Sumatra. Note the deep burn scar and residual ash layer. The red line is an approximation of the original peat surface.

10 Tropical Peat Swamps and Climate Change Topic B3. Slide 10 of 20 A: Peat swamp degradation increases the vulnerability of human and natural systems to the impacts of climate change, while releasing large amounts of GHGs; which creates a negative feedback. Q: How will interactions between human and climate change impacts on peat swamp forests affect ecosystem services and environmental and human health? Although the magnitude and exact impacts of climate change are diffiult to predict and generalize, several overall trends are expected:  Increased frequency and severity of extreme events  Altered amount and delivery of precipitation  Longer, more severe drought and prolonged dry periods  More intnse rainfall events during wet periods  Increasing temperature  Increased nightly minimums  Increased plant respiration  Higher soil temperatures and potentially lower soil moisture content  Sea-level rise  Increased tidal inudiation and storm urges  Increased groundwater intrusion and salinization  Decreasing draunage gradients affecting land surface discharge

11 Topic B3. Slide 11 of 20 Degraded PSF: Vulnerable Lose hydrological function: more floods and drought Semi-permanent or permanent areas of inundation where peat has subsided Highly susceptible to fire Less biodiversity, fewer pollinators, potential pest outbreaks Negative carbon balance (large C source) Declining environmental and human welfare. Intact PSF: Resilient Maintain hydrological function, mitigate floods and drought Resistant to fire Maintain biodiversity and resistant to pests Maintain carbon balance (C sink) Sustained environmental and human welfare Human Impacts Deforestation Degradation Drainage Burning Rising temperatures Sea level rise Frequent extreme events Changed precipitation patterns Climate Stressors Negative feedback Sustainable Landscape Restoration?

12 How will governments, communities, and people respond to climate driven environmental pressures? In short, people will need to adapt to a changing climate to maintain or improve public health, economic security, and quality of life. Topic B3. Slide 12 of 20 What is Climate Adaptation? Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. It refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change". (IPCC 2001, Third Assessment Report;

13 Tropical Peat Swamps and Climate Adaptation Topic B3. Slide 13 of 20  Peat Swamp Forests have large mitigation potential; GHG emissions are very high when degraded or converted.  Emissions avoided through sustainable management and conservation can contribute to national climate mitigation strategies and action plans.  Intact peat swamp forests increase landscape resiliency to climate change impacts, thereby reducing the vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate impacts.  Mitigation potential coupled with critical ecosystems services, biodiversity, and multiple co-benefits make peat swamps ideal for Adaptation based Mitigation (AbM) strategies.  AbM involves synergizing adaptation and mitigation efforts: Managing and rehabilitating ecosystems for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.  Ecosystem based adaptation: Ecosystem services conserved or restored to reduce vulnerability of human systems impacted by climate change (Locatelli 2008)  Forest based adaptation : Forests and agroforestry systems are maintained to supply goods and services which can serve as an income “safety net” for rural communities. (Pramova et al. 2012)

14 Tropical Peat Swamps and Climate Adaptation Topic B3. Slide 14 of 20 Implementing sustainable and adaptive management can maintain the environmental health of the ecosystem and flow of goods and services to society Source: Locatelli et al. (2010 )

15 Tropical Peat Swamps and Climate Adaptation Topic B3. Slide 15 of 20 Sustainable Landscape Economic Developme nt Mitigation Adaptation Mitigation and adaptation need to be aligned with sustainability and development goals Human health Food security Poverty reduction Biodiversity Ecosystem services Maintain C stocks Reduced emissions Resilient to climate impacts Goods and services Managed plantations Cropland Forest Land Cleared/Grassland A diverse peatland landscape. Human and natural systems need to be balanced to optimize environmental benefits, climate goals, and human wellbeing. Collaborative adaptive management

16 Tropical Peat Swamps and Climate Adaptation Topic B3. Slide 16 of 20 Hypothetical example of Adaptation based Mitigation: Indonesia Climate change: More frequent and severe dry periods and drought Impact: More frequent and severe peat fires on drained and degraded peatlands— highly vulnerable due to abundant fine fuels and dry surface peat. Adaptation measure: Rewet peatlands and restore natural cover, or establish tree plantations which do not require drainage (i.e. Swamp Jelutung Dyera polypylla or Sago Metroxylon sagu). Wet peatlands reduce fire risk on the landscape. Mitigation measure: Rewetting peatlands reduces GHG emissions and reforestation increases ecosystem carbon stocks from the degraded state. Burning oil palm plantation, drained Burned peatland. Will be planted with Oil Palm. Peatland rewetting and restoration project Jelutung latex

17 Summary Topic B3. Slide 17 of 20 Properly managed peat swamp forests continue supplying numerous ecosystem services and goods to society, while maintaining or even increasing carbon stocks over the long term. Poorly managed peat swamps and conversion to other uses increase landscape vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, causing deterioration of environmental health and human welfare. In addition, large amounts of greenhouse gases are released to the atmosphere contributing further to climate change. Opportunities exist to synergize adaptation and mitigation efforts: sustainable adaptation strategies for tropical peatlands include mitigation benefits: peat swamp conservation, uses that do not require drainage, restoration and rewetting lessen the impacts of climate change while avoiding or reducing large amounts of GHG emissions. Adaptation, mitigation, and development must be balanced to strive toward sustainable landscape management, which optimizes environmental health and human welfare.

18 Topic B3. Slide 18 of 20 References Dommain R, Couwenberg J, Glaser PH, Joosten H, and Suryadiputra INN Carbon storage and release in Indonesian peatlands since the last deglaciation. Quaternary Science Reviews 97: Giesen W Paludiculture: sustainable alternatives on degraded peat land in Indonesia. Report on activity 3.3 of project, in: Quick assessment and nationwide screening (QANS) of peat and lowland resources and action planning for the implementation of a National Lowland Strategy. For Partners for Water, the Netherlands (PVW3A10002), Indonesian Ministry of Public Works & Bappenas. Kottelat M, Britz R, Hui TH, and Witte KE Paedocypris, a new genus of Southeast Asian cyprinid fish with a remarkable sexual dimorphism, comprises the world's smallest vertebrate. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 273(1589): Locatelli B Synergies between adaptation and mitigation in a nutshell. Climate change and Forests in the Congo Basin: Synergies between adaptation and mitigation. Bogor: CIFOR Locatelli B. Kanninen M, Brockhaus M, Colfer CJP, Murdiyarso D, & Santoso, H Facing an uncertain future: How forests and people can adapt to climate change. Margono BA, Potapov PV, Turubanova S, Stolle F, and Hansen MC Primary forest cover loss in Indonesia over Nature Climate Change. Miettinen J, Shi C, and Liew SC Deforestation rates in insular Southeast Asia between 2000 and Global Change Biology 17(7): Mora C, Frazier AG, Longman RJ, Dacks RS, Walton MM, Tong EJ, Sanchez JJ, et al Mora et al. reply. Nature 511(7507):E5-E6.

19 Topic B3. Slide 19 of 20 References Mora C, Frazier AG, Longman RJ, Dacks RS, Walton MM, Tong EJ, Sanchez JJ, et al The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability. Nature 502(7470): Nowak K Mangrove and peat swamp forests: refuge habitats for primates and felids. Folia Primatologica 83(3-6): Page SE, Rieley JO,and Banks CJ Global and regional importance of the tropical peatland carbon pool. Global Change Biology 17(2): Pramova E, Locatelli B, Djoudi H, and Somorin OA Forests and Trees for social adaptation to climate variability and change. WIREs Climate Change 3: Wahyunto, Heryanto B, Bekti H, dan Widiastuti F Peta-Peta Sebaran Lahan Gambut, Luas dan Kandungan Karbon di Papua/Maps of Peatland Distribution, Area and Carbon Content in Papua, Bogor, Indonesia: Wetlands International – Indonesia Programme & Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC). Wahyunto SR and Subagjo H Map of peatland distribution area and carbon content in Kalimantan, 2000–2002. Bogor, Indonesia: Wetlands International—Indonesia Programme & Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC). Wahyunto SR and Subagjo H Map of Peat land Distribution Area and Carbon Content in Sumatra. Bogor, Indonesia: Wetland International-Indonesia Program and Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC). Warren MW, Kauffman JB, Murdiyarso D, Anshari G, Hergoualc'h K, Kurnianto S, Iswandi A, et al A cost-efficient method to assess carbon stocks in tropical peat soil. Biogeosciences, 9(11):

20 The Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP) is a collaborative effort by CIFOR, the USDA Forest Service, and the Oregon State University with support from USAID. How to cite this file Warren, M Peat swamp forests for adaptation: potentials and vulnerability [PowerPoint presentation]. In: SWAMP toolbox: Theme B section B3 Retrieved from Photo credit Kottelat et al, Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project, Matthew Warren/USFS, Rupesh/CIFOR-OSU, Yayan Indtriatmoko/CIFOR, ZSL Berbak.


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