Mixed farming systems on peatlands in Jambi and Central Kalimantan provinces, Indonesia: should they be described as paludiculture?

Indonesia has about 150,000 km² of peatlands that until recently were largely unused, except by the few local communities living near peatlands who have been using non-timber forest products and cultivating sago for many years. However, mismanagement and over-exploitation have now changed the natural peatland ecosystems into degraded peatlands. Since the peat fire disaster of 2015, the Government of Indonesia has taken serious action to begin the restoration of degraded and burnt peatland. Paludiculture offers a management option for degraded peatlands that would promote the objectives of the country’s new peatland restoration strategy. Existing agricultural practice on peatland in Indonesia is site specific and depends on peatland type. Previous studies of farming practices in two provinces, namely Jambi on the island of Sumatra and Central Kalimantan on Borneo, have shown that this type of farming system is beneficial for human livelihoods. However, the evidence reported here indicates that it is not appropriate to describe current farming practices at these two locations as paludiculture because they do not achieve conditions of high water table and low greenhouse gas emissions. It is recommended that management of hydrology, including temporary or permanent blocking of canals, should be undertaken in order to reduce subsidence and CO2 emissions. To achieve sustainable productive use of degraded peatlands, they should be rewetted and planted with suitable crops and tree species.
  • Authors: Tata, H.L.
  • Author Affiliation: Forest Research and Development Centre, Bogor, Indonesia
  • Subjects: paludiculture, farming systems, peatlands, rural communities, sustainability, ecosystem services
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • Source: Mires and Peat 25: 8
  • Year: 2019
  • DOI:
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