For Peat's Sake
Protecting 157,000 hectares of carbon-sequestering peat swamp, endangered animals and local communities.
78 tonnesThomas P
What it does
The Katingan Mentaya Project reduced over 7.5 mm tonnes of CO₂ each year by protecting and restoring 157,000 hectares of the peat swamp ecosystem, one of the largest remaining of its kind.
Preservation of the peat swamp stabilizes water flows, prevents devastating peat fires, enriches soil nutrients, and provides clean water. More than 90% of the carbon is sequestered in the underlying peat soils, which are up to 13m deep. It also preserves the habitat for the endangered Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus).
These ecosystems are under threat from palm oil production, conversion to industrial acacia for paper production, and from the hunting of threatened animal species. Palm oil monoculture soaks up large amounts of water. Logging, often illegal, accounts for large-scale deforestation and releases CO₂. Both activities often require draining and burning of the underlying peat, further damaging the ecosystem.
How it works
The project’s success is due to support from more than 400 local residents employed from the 34 villages nearby. Conservation and reforestation efforts include fire prevention, fire awareness training, and seedling nursery development. Forest and peatland fires occur almost every year and can spread quickly and travel long distances. Given the damage caused by fires, the project takes fire prevention and response very seriously.
The Katingan Mentaya Project provides communities with public health clinics, improved sanitation, and sustainable initiatives for development and new business. Project management works collaboratively to build knowledge of community decision-making.
- Creates sustainable initiatives with 34 local villages.
- Employs more than 400 workers and pays salaries 50% over the regional average.
- Funded 948 microfinance loans to local communities; women are included.
- Improves sanitation by eliminating river latrines and building public latrines in villages.
- Prevents fires, and response initiatives improve air quality.
- Fire is always a risk, although Katingan has solid prevention and response initiatives.
- Due to its size, the Katingan project requires significant resources to protect it.
- Working with so many diverse local communities can be difficult.
Who it helps
This project helps the planet by preventing fires, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon every year, and helping the local community with developmental programs. Critically endangered species like the Proboscis Monkey and Orangutan enjoy a home protected from logging, fires, and hunting.
Why we chose this project
This project is huge, a challenging undertaking, but the rewards are big as well.
The methodological approach for quantifying emission reductions is complex, as the project involves “Planned Deforestation and Reforestation in combination with Conservation of Undrained and Partially Drained Peatland and Rewetting of Drained Peatland activities.” However, the data driving the climate monitoring parameters are based on remote sensing imagery, baseline reported values, and on the ground measurements. This provides confidence and certainty in the emission reductions achieved by this project.
The project zone lies in a part of Indonesia where at least 50% of the households within the communities live below the national poverty line. The agreements between project personnel and communities ensure that benefits will be distributed and shared equally across all community members.
Linked to the climate change benefits are the exceptional community and biodiversity benefits. Hence the project is verified and certified “Gold Level for Climate, Community, and Biodiversity”- CCB Standard.
UN sustainable development goals
DrawdownDrawdown is the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming; A Natural Biosphere relates to Solutions Number 5, 13 – Tropical Forests and Peatland Forest.
Due diligence documents
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How we select our projects
We go the extra mile, or kilometer, to make sure each project’s carbon-cutting is effective, and the use of funds is efficient.
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