GEF Highlights Climate and Biodiversity Benefits of Peatland Rehabilitation Project

30 June 2011: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has reported on the implementation of a project titled "Rehabilitation and Sustainable Use of Peatland Forests in South-East Asia,” highlighting its benefits, including biodiversity conservation, emissions reductions and increased carbon sinks.

The project, which aims to reverse the loss and degradation of peatland forests and manage peatlands sustainably, is implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Global Environment Centre (GEC), a NGO based in Kuala Lumpur.

Six ASEAN countries are involved in the project (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam), and two additional countries (Thailand and Myanmar) are collaborating. Project activities started in 2009, and feature four four main areas: reducing the rate of peatland forest degradation in South-East Asian countries; demonstrating integrated management and rehabilitation of peatlands at target sites; engaging the private sector and local communities in sustainable peatland management; and strengthening institutional capacity, inter-sectoral policy and planning frameworks for integrated peatland management. The project is expected to support national action plans on peatlands and build peatland management capacity thereby: increasing carbon sequestration; decreasing emissions from forest fires and forest degradation; improving local livelihoods; and protecting globally-significant peat swamp forests and associated biodiversity. [GEF Press Release]