Rewetting Indonesia’s peatlands

Local initiatives like canal-blocking and crop planting are helping to restore degraded peatlands

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Experts from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have been working with the local community in Dompas village, Riau province, for several months now, advising on measures to tackle peatland fires.

“Riau province has the most frequent fires in the whole of Indonesia,” says scientist Herry Purnomo, who runs the project for CIFOR. “These blazes are contributing to climate change and the smoke causes serious public health issues.”

Among the initiatives include canal-blocking and crop planting. Dried or degraded peatlands are highly flammable due to their high carbon content. They are often set alight by companies and individuals to make way for more financially lucrative palm oil plantations. By encouraging communities to rewet the degraded land by blocking canals and replanting native vegetation that they can sell and eat, a viable economic and environmental alternative is introduced.

Watch the video above to learn more.

For more information on this topic, please contact Herry Purnomo at
This research was supported by DFID-KNOWFOR
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