Retaining the jewels in the crown: Kalimantan peat forest remnants

tall tree trunks in a forest
Project code
AUD 250,000
Research program manager
Dr Nora Devoe
Project leader
Laura Graham, The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
Commissioned organisation
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
JUN 2022
DEC 2024
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project will assess immediate threats to intact peat swamp forest which remains in the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) Mawas study area and identify ways to counteract those threats and maintain these key reference ecosystems in Indonesia.

The outputs of this study will allow the development of a targeted conservation action plan for this area, as well as providing a model and methodology for assessment of peat swamp forest in other areas and raise awareness of the understudied threats facing these forests.

Tropical peatlands are a critical global ecosystem; their environmental services provide important carbon storage. Indonesia hosts the greatest global extent of tropical peatlands, yet, less than 7% of its natural-state peat swamp forest (PSF) is still classified as intact (Miettinenet al. 2016; Page et al. 2011).  Without focused management, these remnants will be lost. Remaining intact PSF is essential to tropical peatland restoration because it is the reference ecosystem that informs restoration targets, gauges success, and provides source biota for surrounding area restoration (Gann et al., 2019).

Project activities

  • Assessing and exploring the options and sustainability for the uses and values of the intact versus degraded PSF for the local communities.
  • Enhancing the protection and sustainability of intact Kalimantan peat swamp forest where it is under immediate threat, leading to direct positive impacts on climate change.
  • Prioritising gender balance and minority representation when engaging with the communities directly.
Key partners
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
The University of Melbourne