Tropical Peat and Peatland Definition in Indonesia

Tropical peatland ecosystems consider as a key roles not only in the storage of carbon in forests and peat, but also in controlling water resources and in preserving bio-resources and biodiversity. This assessment on peatland definition is intended to adjust existing definition of peatland and further work to improve the existing peatland map that will help identify the gaps amongst various peatland definition. This chapter consists of part, which provides an overview of the importance of peatland both at global and national context, including variety of assessment of peatland contribution to GHG emission. Based on available references, there are two broad peatland definitions: Authoritative and Scientific. In Indonesia, currently there are three Ministries operate under their own authoritative designations of peatland. The Ministry of Environment of Indonesia defines ‘peat’ as a plant residue formed naturally through long-term decomposition processes, accumulating in swamp areas or static reservoirs. The Ministry of Agriculture defines ‘peat’ as soil formed as a result of organic matter accumulation with a naturally occurring composition of greater than 65 % from the decaying vegetation growing on it, whose decomposition is slowed down by anaerobic and wet conditions. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Forestry defines ‘peat’ as organic matter residue accumulating over a long period of time. Several scientific definitions have been introduced and acknowledged by scientific communities, including those developed. These definitions are based on field observations and analyses of peat soil properties. Key elements include physical peat properties, such as degree of decomposition (humification), bulk density, water content, porosity and others, and chemical properties, such as carbon content, ash content, pH, and C/N ratio.
  • Authors: Osaki, M., Hirose, K., Segah, H., Helmy, F.
  • Author Affiliation: Hokkaido University, University of Palangka Raya, Indonesia Climate Change Center (ICCC). Indonesia
  • Subjects: peatlands, carbon sinks, tropics, soil properties, water composition, chemical properties, research
  • Publication type: Chapter
  • Source: Osaki, M., Tsuji, N. (eds). 2016. Tropical Peatland Ecosystems. 137-147
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 978-4-431-55681-7
  • DOI:
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