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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.

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Presentation on theme: "PEAT, PULP AND PAPER: Climate Impact of Pulp Tree Plantations on Peatland in Indonesia PROFESSOR JACK RIELEY University of Nottingham, UK Ramsar Scientific."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 Summary statistics for tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia (based on Immirzi & Maltby, 1992; Rieley et al., 1996) REGIONAREA (mean) ha AREA (range) ha Indonesia 18,963,00017,853,000-20,073,000 Malaysia 2,730,000 Papua New Guinea 1,695,000500,000-2,890,000 Thailand 64,000 Brunei 110,000 Vietnam 24,000 The Philippines 10,700 TOTALS 23,596,70021,291,700-25,901,700

3 AREA OF 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)

4 Characteristics of Lowland Peatlands in Southeast Asia Support a natural vegetation of peat swamp forest. Acidic, rain-fed, nutrient-poor systems. Thick organic layer – peat thickness can exceed 10m. 12 m

5 Biodiversity Tree species recorded from peat swamp forests in SE Asia: ~ 800 tree species ~ 71 families ~ 237 genera Many display characteristic adaptations to the habitat, e.g. stilt roots, pneumatophores.

6 Biodiversity Mammalian fauna includes several notable species: orang-utan agile gibbon sun bear Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus

7 CARBON SEQUESTRATION AND STORAGE In tropical peatlands the vegetation and underlying peat constitute a large and highly concentrated carbon store Estimates of current carbon accumulation rates in tropical peatlands range from g m -2 yr -1 sequestering between 0.06–0.093 Pg C yr -1 Some peatlands, even in a natural condition, are in a steady-state and are no longer accumulating peat, whilst others are undergoing degradation The peatlands of Kalimantan represent a carbon store of 13 Pg, those of Indonesia contain 35 Pg and the global total for tropical peatlands is estimated to be 54 Pg

8 MEGA RICE PROJECT: DURING AND AFTER

9 FORMER MEGA RICE PROJECT SEPTEMBER 2002 There have been some problems!

10 Two years after MRP commenced : 1997 El Niño promoted widespread forest fires Peatland fires were widespread in Kalimantan and Sumatra

11 Carbon Emissions from Peatland Fires Carbon losses from Indonesian peatland fires during 1997/98: – Estimated 0.81 – 2.57 Gt C [Page et al. 2002] ~ 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]

12 “Haze” from the forest/peatland fires blankets much of SE Asia - Sept (NASA satellite image)

13 Sink to Source Carbon storage : –Above-ground ~ t C ha -1 –Below-ground ~250 - >5,000 t C ha -1 Carbon sequestration severely impaired by land use change 120,000 km 2 (45%) currently deforested & mostly drained Large areas impacted by recurrent fires Drivers of land use change: Conversion to plantations (palm oil/Acacia) Logging (illegal logging rampant in Indonesia) Poor forest and (peat)land management Lack of understanding of peatlands and peat

14 Modelling Carbon Emissions from Drained Tropical Peatlands Drainage emissions are equivalent to 1.4–3.5 % of global emissions from fossil fuels (25,000 Mt CO 2 yr -1 ) [Hooijer, Silvius, Wosten & Page, 2006] Current (2005): Mt CO 2 yr -1 (100–240 Mt C yr -1 ) Projected ( ): Mt CO 2 yr -1 ( Mt C yr -1 )

15 Carbon Emissions from Drained Peatlands Oil palm plantation 2.3 m loss

16 Improved plantation water management Reduced emissions/subsidence Linked to protection of remaining natural forest

17 Reducing the contribution tropical peatlands make to C emissions  Reduce emissions from remaining forests = deforestation avoidance – need for baseline & monitoring data  Reduce emissions from degraded peatlands = hydrological restoration and reforestation – pilot studies  Improve understanding of vulnerability of plantations on peatlands = e.g. improved plantation water management (best practice examples)  Transfer/disseminate scientific knowledge to influence public policy-making

18 STRATEGIES FOR WISE USE OF TROPICAL PEATLAND IN INDONESIA WATERBIODIVERSITYCARBONSOCIO- ECONOMICS FIRE ControlForest qualityMitigationSustainable livelihoods Awareness Prevention Fighting Manage- ment Nature conservation and Bio-rights Carbon credits Poverty eradication Management ExpertiseProtection and Trading TradingStrategies and policies Expertise Integration Collaboration

19 LIFE CYCLE COMPARISONS ON TROPICAL PEATLAND The impact of different land uses on tropical peatland in Indonesia (oil palm and pulp tree plantations) on CO 2e emissions compared to natural, peat swamp forest and deforested, drained and degraded peatland.

20 DATA, METHODS AND ASSUMPTIONS 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 (CO 2 ). Methane emissions from tropical peatland under all land uses is very low (Jauhiainen, 2005, Melling, 2005) while emissions of other greenhouse active gases, notably NO 2, have not been studied in detail so far and are not included in this assessment.

21 TROPICAL PEAT LAND USE CARBON BUDGETS (calculated for a 25 year period – t C ha -1 ) Peat swamp forest (C pool) Oil palm plantation (C loss) Acacia pulp plantation (C loss) Degraded peatland (C loss) Peat carbon pool at start 2218 Forest a.g. biomass +150 (sel. logged) -150 (sel. logged) -150 (sel. logged) -150 (sel. logged) Forest root biomass Peatland C pool at start Peat (25 yr) accumulation Peat (25 yr) subsidence , Peat loss by fire (25 yr) Crop/2y biomass increase (25 yr) +50 (a.g. and b.g) 0 (Cropped) 0 (cropped) 30.3 (2y after fire) Peatland carbon pool after 25 yr

22 TROPICAL PEAT LAND USE CARBON BUDGETS (calculated for a 25 year period – t C ha -1 ) Peat swamp forest (C pool) Oil palm plantation (C loss) Acacia pulp plantation (C loss) Degraded peatland (C loss) Peat carbon pool after 25 yr C imbalance with PSF Carbon gain/loss over 25 yr Mean annual C gain/loss (inc. deforest) (inc. deforest) (inc. deforest) Mean annual CO 2 gain/loss Annual CO 2e change in 1 Mha +13.0Mt-170.7Mt-285.9Mt-237.5Mt Predicted life of peat (after 25) n26612 Total lifespan under land use (yr) Forever!513137

23 ENDWORD 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.

24 Thank you for listening. Time is running out!! Bio-rights


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