Immediate Action required
Not much time is left to save Indonesia’s unique swamp forest areas. Disappearance of the peat swamp forests would not only lead to further impoverishment of local communities and extinction of species, but also to a significant contribution to global climate change.
In contrast to other forest types, peat swamp forests contain huge quantities of carbon that have been accumulated over a period of thousands of years. Maintenance of these carbon stores is vital in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet many people, NGOs, governments and private companies are unaware of the enormous consequences of peatland destruction. They are not yet fully aware that most of Indonesia's lowland rainforests (mainly peat swamp forests) may be lost forever during our life time. Under the Climate Change Convention (UN-FCCC) huge mounts of money are invested to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from houses, transport and industries in the industrialized countries, not knowing that these noble efforts are reversed by drainage and fires in South-east Asian peatlands. Private companies in the palm oil have established their plantations in tropical peatlands, triggered by huge targets for biofuels.
Actions at different levels and in various disciplines are required to sustain and restore the natural values and life supporting functions of this sensitive ecosystem.