Moving to save peat lands

Forest fires, particularly on drained peat lands and in an especially dry year, have elevated Indonesia into one of the world's worst emitters of carbon and turned the world's spotlight onto the perennial problem.

As Indonesian President Joko Widodo sought US$3.6 billion (S$5 billion) in funds to restore the peat lands from a climate change conference in Paris, Greenpeace activists, together with the local community and non-governmental organisations such as Save Our Borneo, decided not to wait to take action.

East of Central Kalimantan's Sebangau National Park, they have dammed a canal draining the wetlands in preparation for plantations.

According to Greenpeace, the national park is one of the last remaining peat swamp forests in Borneo and home to endangered orang utans, but has been encroached upon by oil palm plantations and illegal logging.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Moving to save peat lands'. Subscribe