09 March 2009

Huge price tag on Indonesian peat loss

As wetlands are turned into agricultural zones, carbon equivalent to 1 billion USD is lost into the atmosphere yearly.

By Morten Andersen, COP15 News, 09/03/2009 10:15

A study reveals that Indonesia suffers economically by opening its peatlands for agriculture.

"If we convert it to the price of carbon, Indonesia loses about 1 billion USD annually, equal with the release of 0.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide," the study’s head author, Professor Mitsuri Osaki, of Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Agriculture, Japan, tells The Jakarta Post.

The study focuses on Central Kalimantan where the transformation is massive. The peatland conditions in Indonesia are "terrible, with no management," Professor Osaki says.

Commenting on the study, Bambang Setiadi, Chairman of the Indonesian Peatland Association, says agriculture is not the only problem:

"Fires have become the most dangerous threat to Indonesian forests and peatlands in the past 15 years," Bambang Setiadi notes, while adding that in 2006 peat fires released 0.6 gigatons of carbon – the same amount as the entire yearly average – into the atmosphere.

A report in 2006 from Wetlands International said Indonesia's peatlands emitted around two billion tons of CO2 a year, far higher than the country's emissions from energy, agriculture and waste, which were 451 million tons. This places Indonesia as the world's third largest CO2 emitter after China and USA.

Copyright 2008-2009

Read more... Sphere: Related Content

No comments: