Professor Sue Page discusses peat fire solutions with Indonesian delegates

Posted by kha5 at Nov 19, 2015 02:29 PM |
Professor Sue Page's peatland research was discussed during a meeting on 18 November.

Professor Sue Page met with a delegation from the Riau provincial government in Sumatra, Indonesia on Wednesday 18 November to discuss the problems of and solutions for peat fires.

This year has seen extensive fires across Indonesia, many of them in peatland areas, with very high emissions of CO2 released into the atmosphere, along with harmful particulate and gaseous pollutants. The fire dynamic is the result of a number of factors that provide the key ingredients for this year’s extreme fire event:

Ignition sources from land clearance activities, a supply of peat and biomass fire fuels, and an extended dry season driven by this year’s El Nino event. In peatland areas, the abundance of dry peat is the result of large scale land clearance and drainage for plantation development.

Plantations on peat increased in area by 12 per cent per year in this region between 2007 and 2010.

Professor Page has carried out research on the tropical peatlands of Southeast Asia for more than 20 years and is contributing her knowledge and expertise to help bring Indonesia’s peatlands into improved management, including rehabilitation through re-wetting as a means to “keep the peat wet” and prevent a repeat of this year’s fire disaster.

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