Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Peat swamp guideline for Indonesian state governments

The Star (Indonesia), by Amanda Lee: A guideline will be drawn up for state governments to ensure conservation and sustainable use of Peat Swamp Forests (PSF) based on the findings of the five-year Peat Swamp Forest Project, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry secretary-general Datuk Suboh Mohd Yassin said. “The aim of the guideline, which includes a comprehensive long-term plan until 2020, is to encourage state authorities to manage PSF through informed decisions in managing the forests,” he said at the Symposium on Peat Swamp Forests. However, he noted that the choice to adhere to the guideline depends on the state governments.

Launching the project’s 15th publication, “Orchids of Peat Swamp Forests in Peninsular Malaysia”, Suboh said that it is crucial that PSF are managed in a sustainable manner as they are a significant mitigating factor in climate change, as demonstrated in the three sites chosen for the project: Loagan Bunut Park in Sarawak, Klias Peninsula in Sabah and the South-East Pahang PSF in Pahang. "Accounting for 75% (about 1.54 mil hectares) of total wetlands area in Malaysia, PSF provides waters supply, groundwater recharge, carbon storage and sanctuary to a wealth of flora and fauna,” Forest Research Institite of Malaysia (FRIM) director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Mohd Ali said.

Coordinated by the FRIM and implemented by the forestry departments of Pahang, Sarawak and Sabah, the RM19.9mil project was initiated by the Malaysian government in 2002 and received additional RM22.5mil in funding from the United Nations Development Programme/ Global Environment Facility (UNDP/ GEF) in collaboration with Danish International Development Assistance (Danida).

Sumatra fires, October 2006, from NASA, Wikimedia Commons

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