The Sumatra Merang Peatland Project (SMPP) aims to protect and restore a peatland ecosystem covering 22,922 hectares in the Musi Banyuasin district of South Sumatra, Indonesia.
What are peatlands? and Why are they so important?
Peatlands are a particular ecosystem of great value to our planet. It is a type of acidic wetland caused by the accumulation of plant debris or organic material in a water-saturated environment and in different states of degradation.
Peatlands play a vital role in their environment. They regulate hydrological cycles, maintaining the quality of fresh water and becoming important water reserves. Which are water supplies in the dry season.
Peatlands are essential for regulating the global climate, despite the fact that they cover only three percent of the world’s surface, they contain as much carbon as all its vegetation, which is equivalent to one third of all the carbon found on the planet’s soil.
Peatlands are very fragile ecosystems and are in danger of disappearing.
The valuable wealth of peatlands
The project is located within the Merang-Kepayang Peat Dome, one of Sumatra’s largest carbon-rich peat swamp areas, covering more than 150,000 hectares. This area and the surrounding peatland ecosystems are known for their high levels of biodiversity, including vulnerable and critically endangered species such as the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), the rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), and the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. Sumatrae)
Peatlands in danger
Without this project, this peat bog ecosystem would have become a fast-growing acacia industrial forest plantation for pulp and paper. The development of an acacia plantation would have reduced the water table, creating GHG emissions from the oxidation of the peat and significantly increased the risk of fire. The SMPP prevents this scenario by conducting restoration activities under a carbon storage and sequestration license.
Impact and benefits of the project
The project implements programs for fire prevention, hydrological restoration, forest rehabilitation, biodiversity conservation, and community development.
- The climate benefits of the project include avoiding the emission of more than 62,912,755 t CO2e during the life of the project.
- The project invests in community development programs in nearby villages, based on a comprehensive needs assessment and a community development plan. Community development activities focus on programs that improve access to education through teacher training, extracurricular programs, adult education programs, and improvements to local school infrastructure.
- Additionally, the project will improve access and quality of public health care by renovating medical facilities, hiring health workers in local villages, and conducting health awareness campaigns on early childhood development. and the fight against stunting.
- It will also facilitate better access to drinking water and initiate a plastic waste reduction and recycling program.
- Collateral benefits of biodiversity will be generated through protection and restoration activities, with the support of forest patrols and a biodiversity monitoring program. The SMPP targets significant habitat for 10 endangered and critically endangered species, as well as an additional 19 vulnerable species.
- The SMPP protects the area from further degradation, facilitates natural regeneration, and strengthens wildlife corridors to neighboring national parks to ensure a more ecologically intact habitat these species can depend on.
This project is the most recent addition to our global portfolio of projects. From Climatetrade you can contribute to rehabilitate and protect this critical ecosystem, avoiding the release of significant volumes of emissions, in addition to creating a conservation area for hundreds of unique and endangered species and also helping the community of surrounding villages.