Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Indonesia Bans the Burning of Peatland; Will Help Reduce CO2 Emissions

Indonesian officers put out forest fires in a village in Central Kalimantan province in September 2015. (Credit: Bagus Indahono/European Pressphoto Agency) Click to Enlarge.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced a moratorium earlier this week on the conversion of carbon-rich peatlands into agricultural land — a move that could prevent hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 from being emitted annually.  In recent years, landowners and companies have been draining, drying, and often burning the country’s abundant peat-filled wetlands to make way for palm oil plantations and other farmland.  

Fires in 2015 caused more than a half-million people to be treated for respiratory problems and $16.1 billion in economic damage, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Widodo’s moratorium protects peatlands of any depth and orders companies to restore any peatlands they have converted.  "This regulation will be a major contribution to the Paris climate agreement and a relief to millions of Indonesians who suffer the effects of toxic haze from peat fires," said Nirarta Samadhi, Indonesia country director for the World Resources Institute.

Read more at Indonesia Bans the Burning of Peatland; Will Help Reduce CO2 Emissions

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