The Source, Annual Review 2020

Several threatened species live in the peatswamps of Sumatra, including the lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus).

their carbon stores, is equally great. A major problem in achieving that is conflicting government policies, with different agencies dedicated to either converting or conserving and restoring wetlands. In future, recognition of the climate role of wetlands will hopefully tilt the balance towards conservation and restoration. In 2020, Indonesia was updating its NDC in preparation for the planned climate COP in Glasgow at the end of the year. Wetlands International had a seat at the table, in a Strategic Coordination Team for Wetlands Management, to draw up a roadmap for the NDC update, under the leadership of the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS). As part of this, we are working with Conservation International and CIFOR on pilot projects to restore wetlands in North Sumatra -- such as the peatlands around Muara Manompas -- and West Papua. The target is to avoid deforestation of 80,000 hectares of mangroves and peatland forests, preventing emissions of 30 million tonnes of CO2 – gains that can form part of the country’s NDC to reduce emissions by 29-41% below business-as-usual in 2030. In many places in Indonesia, the pressure to drain peat and plant oil palm remains strong. So community buy-in is essential. We have acted as a bridge between government policy and community engagement. In Muara Manompas,

Wetlands International has acted as a bridge between government policy and community engagement, a key approach to safeguarding and restoring these wetlands.

Wetlands are the planet’s biggest terrestrial “carbon sinks”, holding the greatest potential of all ecosystems for delivering Nature-based Solutions to climate change. In the climate debate they have so far been side-lined by concern for tropical rainforests. But in 2020 that began to change, with ever more governments recognising the potential to incorporate peatlands, mangroves and other wetlands in their NDCs. To fast track this encouraging development, Wetlands International has been stepping up to count the carbon, provide conservation and restoration advice and form partnerships to help companies to contribute and governments to deliver on their promises. From Peru to Mongolia, Indonesia to the Grenada, and Argentina to the Philippines, we are using the climate agenda to help drive global wetland restoration. Indonesia has around 25 million hectares of peatlands and mangroves, more than any other country. Their loss in recent decades has haemorrhaged carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And this continues. There are plans to drain up to two million hectares more wetlands for plantations and other land uses by 2030, potentially releasing hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2.

This would be a tragedy. But the potential to end the destruction, and begin restoration of wetlands and

The biggest threat against peatlands in Indonesia is drainage for land use, which often leads to frequent and prolonged floods during the wet season and becomes a high risk area for fires in each major dry season.



Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

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