Can Peatland Landscapes in Indonesia be Drained Sustainably? An Assessment of the ‘eko-hidro’ Water Management Approach

This policy brief questions the scientific basis of a range of claims in relation to the ‘sustainability’ of peatland drainage for plantations. The paper shows that peer-reviewed scientific literature concludes that all peat drainage is associated with subsidence, fire risk and high carbon emissions. In particular, a management approach known as ‘eko-hidro’ has been promoted as sustainable by a number of industry actors and academics. The Government of Indonesia is taking important steps to address the extensive drainage of peatlands that has been a key factor in the expansion of forest and peatland fires and related haze over the last twenty years. As peatland management remains a contested policy area in Indonesia this policy brief calls upon decision makers in government and industry to base their decisions on peer-reviewed and scientifically sound information.
  • Authors: Wetlands International, Tropenbos International
  • Author Affiliation: Wetlands International, Tropenbos International
  • Subjects: water management, peatlands, sustaianability, drainage, ecosystem management, development policy
  • Publication type: Brief
  • Year: 2016
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