Indonesia — The destruction of tropical forests causes about 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions more than the worlds entire transport sector making tropical forest countries such as Indonesia, some of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.
Conversely halting deforestation or even replanting tropical forest – has a large, direct and immediate climate benefit. In the swampy rainforests of Indonesia its not just the trees that store carbon.
The waterlogged soils prevent dead leaves and wood from fully decomposing, creating a thick layer of peat. The peat, as well as the trees in these forests store billions of tonnes of carbon making them vital on a global scale.
But across South East Asia the swamps are being drained and the forests are being felled to become plantations of oil palm or pulpwood trees. Once under plantation they no longer store carbon but start to release it.
Earth Report traveled to the swamp forests of Indonesia to find out why they are so important not just to the local inhabitants but to the planet as well and what is being done to protect what remains. The TV report is available on You Tube at: