Sustainable Peatlands for People and Climate (sppc) Malaysia, Indonesia

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Sustainable Peatlands for People and Climate (SPPC) Malaysia, Indonesia

Project director

Giesen, Wim (WG)


The project is to promote integrated sustainable land use planning in peatland landscapes in Indonesia and Malaysia, by focusing on forestry, agriculture and water management infrastructure sectors, dealing inter alia with the palm oil (food and biofuel/e

Project location

Coastal peatlands throughout Indonesia and Malaysia (30 Mha)


Wetlands International

Financing Agency

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation


As lead firm

Composition of Team

Euroconsult Mott MacDonald: Paludiculture expert, Policy/institutional expert

Period of Assignment

From 01-Jun-2013 to 31-Dec-2015

Staff months

Total:Euroconsult Mott MacDonald: 2; Partner(s): 0


Both Indonesia and Malaysia have experienced major population growth and (for part of the population) increasing wealth over the last two decades. This has meant increasing demands for food, as expressed in the National Food Security Policy and in export revenue. Both the increase of food crops (rice) and export crops (palm oil and pulp wood) have been planned largely on coastal peatlands: partly i) because until recently these were not utilized (other than for logging) and therefore have fewer competing land claims than mineral soil areas, and ii) because no less than two thirds of the lowland areas are covered by peatland, which accounts for 12% of the land mass of Indonesia and 6% of the land mass of Malaysia. Peatland use has led to an array of major issues, including subsidence, major greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity, loss of natural assets that will reduce food security and increase poverty, and transboundary haze.

Description of project

The project is to promote integrated sustainable land use planning in peatland landscapes in Indonesia and Malaysia, by focusing on forestry, agriculture and water management infrastructure sectors, dealing inter alia with the palm oil (food and biofuel/energy) and pulp wood sectors that are among the most rapid growing land use sectors in SE Asian peatlands and most seriously impacting the sustainability of the peat landscapes. The project results will also contribute to improved livelihoods, employment and food security.
To this end it will create a business case for change and:

i) bring together science based information on the short-, medium- and long-term impacts of tropical peat swamp forest deforestation, reclamation and drainage in terms of climate (emissions), impacts on society (public health, livelihoods, food security), economy (short term profits versus long-term losses) and biodiversity, as a means to raise awareness in government, industry and civil society and promote and enable necessary changes in policy, planning and development;

ii) target the palm oil and pulp wood plantation industries which are most rapidly expanding and impacting on tropical peatlands and their ecosystem services;

iii) review and promote options (approaches/methods, finance mechanisms) for up-scaling community-based approaches to sustainable management and rehabilitation of tropical peatlands, that optimize social and environmental benefits and safeguards;

iv) enhance capacity of civil society (NGOs, CSOs, indigenous people organisations) and government to understand and address the specific issues of tropical peatland degradation, including the short- to long-term social and environmental (incl. climate change) consequences, and instigate investments in sustainable alternatives including peat swamp forest conservation and rehabilitation (including MRV).

Services provided

Five main tasks are to be specifically handled by EMM:

1. Paludiculture trials site selection. Selection of potential sites for paludiculture trials, both in Indonesia and Malaysia. Selection of at least 3 potential sites each in Indonesia and Malaysia, indicating area (ha), potential (species that could be trialed given flooding regime and degree of degradation), and identifying (potential) partners/cooperating agencies. Deliverable: Report on “Selection of sites for paludiculture trials in Indonesia and Malaysia”.

2. Case studies on paludiculture. A number of paludiculture species have been trialed, but not or incompletely documented – these include: sago (Sarawak, P. Padang), jelutung (Jambi: ICRAF, MoF), Melaleuca (Mekong delta; South Kalimantan/MoF) and tengkawan/illipe nuts (West Kalimantan/Inhutani-UGM). Deliverables: a report documenting these cases, for inclusion in the FAO report on sustainable peatland management.

3. Development of a joint concept proposal for paludiculture piloting and upscaling in Indonesia and/or Malaysia, including 3 to 5 promising species, at a sufficiently large scale and including proposed monitoring of impact in terms of emissions, subsidence, livelihoods and market development.

4. Provide policy analysis as required with a focus on (i) technical aspects of peatland use including analysis conducted under the QANS and WACLIMAD projects and (ii) the definition of specific implementing regulations for RPP Rawa and RPP Gambut and how these can be mainstreamed into spatial planning frameworks. Details of this will be defined in the SPPC inception workshop.

5. Identification of key policy targets and conceptualisation of a strategy for achieving the priority policy results, including strategic targeting of available resources.

Senior staff and functions

Wim Giesen - Paludiculture expert; Nick Mawdsley - Policy/institutional expert

Euroconsult Mott MacDonald

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