Enhancing the benefits of tropical peatland restoration to support local communities and ecosystem processes
- Start date: 1 August 2017
- End date: 1 July 2019
- Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- External primary investigator:
Professor Jane Hill (University of York)
- Co-investigators: Professor Lindsay C. Stringer
Tropical peatland systems in Southeast Asia have been modified and degraded in various ways: logging, drainage, conversion to agricultural land uses, and burning. These processes have led to carbon emissions, damaging haze, and negative impacts on forest ecosystems and biodiversity.
In Indonesia, commitments have been made to restore peatland in order to tackle the negative impacts of degradation. Restoration includes rewetting drained areas and changing the management of peat land covers. We are interested in the outcomes of this restoration for people and the environment.
Our project focuses on tropical peatlands in Sumatra, Indonesia, with field, remote sensing and modelling research in Jambi province. We have several research themes, which different members of the team are focussing on:
- Mapping peatlands and their degradation
- Assessing biodiversity in peat forest and peatland agricultural areas
- Investigating the connectivity of peat forest areas
- Understanding the needs of local communities and the socio-economic impacts of peat restoration
- Understanding greenhouse gas fluxes, water tables and soil microbial diversity
- Identifying priority areas for peat restoration projects