TheBogor Statement on Wise Use and Sustainable Peatlands
The Wise Use and Sustainable Peatlands Management Practices Workshop in Bogor – October 24, 2003
The Wise Use and Sustainable Peatlands Management Practices workshop was held in Bogor, Indonesia, on 13-14th October 2003 and was jointly organized by Wetlands International – Indonesia Programme, Wildlife Habitat Canada and the Global Environment Center and funded by Canadian International Development Assistance Agency (CIDA) through the Climate Change, Forests and Peatlands in Indonesia project (CCFPI). The workshop was attended by over 100 national and international participants from governmental and non-governmental organisations, research institutions and the private sector. Participants were drawn from the conservation, agricultural, forestry and plantation sectors. The major issues reviewed included national and international experience and best practices in peatland management, peatland fire prevention and control and post fire rehabilitation and water management.
The workshop noted that peatland ecosystems play a significant role in flood control, water storage and supply; carbon storage/sequestration and greenhouse gas/climate regulation; biodiversity conservation; socio-economic development and livelihoods. Furthermore it noted that peatlands are fragile and vulnerable to degradation. The workshop expressed concern about the significant loss and degradation of peatland ecosystems in SE Asia and the negative impacts of this on local communities, as well as the regional and global environments. Conversion, drainage and over-exploitation of peatlands were recognised as the root causes of fires which have destroyed or degraded over two million ha of peatlands in the region in recent years, as well as leading to significant emissions of greenhouse gases and smoke. The workshop welcomed the recent adoption by the ASEAN countries of the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative and encouraged rapid progress in developing and implementing national plans for peatland management. The meeting recognized the need to
* Develop and implement integrated land use plans for peatlands based on ecosystem and hydrological functions and using a basin management approach, while drawing on local knowledge and wisdom.
* Focus on the fundamental importance of maintaining or restoring the natural water regime of peatlands as the basis of measures for protection, sustainable use and rehabilitation of peatlands.
* Stop the further drainage and conversion (for agriculture, plantation, forestry and other uses) of deep peat, peat domes, undisturbed peatlands as well as other areas of conservation importance; future plantation, agriculture or development activities in peatlands should thus be focused in areas which have already been cleared or degraded.
* Take urgent measures to protect remaining intact or important peatlands.
* Require that all users of peatlands, including forestry, agriculture and plantations, apply sustainable management practices.
* Prevent peatland fires by addressing the root causes of fires such as drainage or inappropriate land use and also strengthen capacity at the
local level to respond to fires.
* Support and empower local communities to protect and sustainably use peatland resources to contribute to their livelihood and environmental security.
* Facilitate the free and open sharing of information, experiences and lessons learned in order to support cooperative and effective peat management.
The Workshop strongly URGED
Governmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and communities to work together to protect, rehabilitate and sustainably manage peatland areas for current and future generations and the global environment.
The Workshop further called for the following actions to be undertaken.
Encourage the active implementation of the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative.
Enhance regional information sharing on peatland extent, status and management and develop handbooks for best management practices.
Formulate or update national policies and strategies or action plans for conservation and wise use of peatlands.
Undertake or revise national inventories of peatlands and zone them for protection, rehabilitation and other uses.
Establish networks of pilot project sites to test and demonstrate sustainable peatland management options.
Working Group Recommendations
Fire Management in Peatland Areas
* Maintaining or restoring natural water tables in peatlands is the key to fire prevention.
* Strengthen the coordination among agencies involved in peatland fire prevention and control, including establishment of peat fire prevention units in agencies responsible for forestry and agriculture.
* Actively involve villagers in fire prevention and fighting.
* Adopt zero burning strategies for all commercial agriculture.
* Improve law enforcement as well as monitoring and predicting of fire risk.
Rehabilitation of Peatlands
* Each country with degraded peatlands is encouraged to develop a programme for peatland rehabilitation.
* Degraded peatlands should be identified and classified according to the rehabilitation options.
* Proper guidelines or manuals should be developed based on regional experience and promoted widely.
* Pilot projects to test techniques should be established.
* The first measures at the site should relate to restoration of the water table (such as blocking of drains) and prevention of conditions which may lead to the lowering of the water table or initiation of fires.
* Restoration should be undertaken with appropriate indigenous species.
Agriculture in peatland areas
* Indigenous knowledge and modern methodologies, such as techniques for prevention of subsidence and over-drainage, low impact land clearing and agricultural practices should be documented and promoted in existing peatland agricultural areas.
* Affordable and appropriate options for land clearing should be developed and provided to communities living in peatland areas.
* Promote haze-free agriculture through incentive and disincentive measures.
Water Management in Peatland Areas
* Treat each peat dome as a hydrological unit for management and integrate the management of peatlands with the management of relevant river basins.
* Blocking of drainage and logging canals in peatland areas is an important strategy to restore natural water levels and ecosystem values as well as to prevent fires and stop the sedimentation of adjacent waterways.
* Control the drainage of peatlands and restore and maintain water tables both within and in buffer zones around peatlands.