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Restoring vulnerable peatlands

Indonesia is home to the world’s second largest area of tropical peatland, but it is at risk from expanding oil palm and acacia plantations and logging. Much of it has already been destroyed or degraded.

Project Berbak Green Prosperity Partnership, Jambi, Sumatra

ClientMillennium Challenge Account Indonesia

ExpertiseAdvisory, oversight, peer review, project management

Millions of hectares of peat have been drained, a highly dangerous practice because peat is not only very flammable but releases huge amounts of stored carbon into the atmosphere as it burns – fuelling climate change. The Berbak Green Prosperity Partnership (BGPP) focused on rehabilitating degraded peatland and improving farming practices. We helped build 135 canal blocks in the buffer zone designated to shield the Berbak National Park, raise groundwater levels and slow peat degradation, and replanted 53ha with plant species adapted to cope with the rewetting of peat soils. Just by applying simple new farming practices, average net profits for smallholders covered by BGPP increased 25% over 2.5 years. BGPP’s success in protecting this special, but vulnerable ecological area is being replicated across the region.

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