Sustainable Management Model for Peatland Ecosystems in the Riau, Sumatra
The peat swamp forest of the Riau Biosphere Reserve has been degraded at an alarming rate. The development of large areas of peatland as timber estates and palm oil plantations has caused a serious threat to the remaining peat swamp forest ecosystems. Forest and land fires have occurred annually, especially in the dry season, and the remaining peat swamp forest is subject to illegal logging activities and natural disturbances. Villagers continuously convert the remaining natural peat swamp forest into jungle rubber gardens and oil palm plantations. Four objectives of the study: (1) to clarify the current condition and ecological characteristics of the remaining peat swamp forest ecosystems, (2) reestablishing typical canopy tree species and restoring degraded peat swamp forest and peatland areas, (3) to determine a mechanism or directions for the participation of the local population; and, (4) to discuss a model for the promotion of sustainable management of peat swamp forest ecosystems in the biosphere reserve. The improvement of management of remaining peat swamp forests and rehabilitation should consider the unique ecological characteristics particularly the dominant tree species, fast growing species as well as the peat characteristics. The remaining peat swamp forests should be kept in their natural conditions in order to provide continuous ecosystem services, given their unique biodiversity characteristics, protection could be enhanced by adding incentives to local communities including monetary incentives from biodiversity and climate change mitigation funds. The promotion of a sustainable management model should be the direction of actions to conserve the remaining natural forests, regenerate and restore the degraded peat swamp forests, and create economic incentives enabling sustainability for the local community.
KeywordsBiosphere reserve Peat swamp forest Rehabilitation Sustainable management model
We thank the Kyoto University Global COE program (E04) for financial support; GCOE Initiative 3, Kyoto University, the Global Environment Research Fund (E-1002) of the Ministry of Environment, Japan, for financial support; the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund 7-078 for providing field equipment; the BBKSDA Forestry Department in Riau for permission to conduct the study; the Biology Department, particularly the Laboratory of Ecology, at Riau University; and the villagers of Temiang and Air Raja for their assistance in the forest.
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