Posted on 24 December 2015
International development consultancy Euroconsult Mott MacDonald received a Green prosperity partnership grant from the Indonesian branch of the Millennium Challenge Corporation to lead a consortium that will restore peatland in the Berbak National Park on Sumatra, Indonesia.
Due to drainage canals and agriculture, the peatland in the bufferzone of Berbak National Park has dried up and its peat is oxidising, releasing large amounts of greenhouse gasses. In 2015 this process was further accelerated by widespread peatland fires.
By rewetting the peatland the emissions can be stopped and fires prevented, and in the longer term the peatland can even start to recapture greenhouse gasses.
|Signing ceremony with f.l.t.r. Bonaria Siahaan (MCA-Indonesia), Hero Heering (Euroconsult Mott MacDonald) and Hari Kristijo (Bappanas).|
The grant agreement was signed by Millennium Challenge Account-Indonesia and Euroconsult Mott MacDonald on 4 December in Jakarta.
Participating in the consortium are 18 national and international organizations, including Zoological Society of London, research institute Deltares, development organisation SNV Indonesia, three local universities and five local NGOs. In addition, five companies and financial institutions act as co-financier.
Blocking drainage canals
One of the main goals of the consortium is to rewet the peatlands in Berbak National Park by blocking drainage canals and elevating the average annual water table, preferable to near-natural levels.
Additionally, farmers and entrepreneurs will be assisted in establishing small-scale sustainable livelihood activities in the buffer zone of the national park.
High on the agenda is the sustainability and certification of the existing small-scale palm oil plantations in order to continue to meet the growing demand for sustainably produced palm oil in the world market.
Furthermore the consortium will create capacity among local communities in sustainable water management in peatlands.
All of these activities are only possible with full consent and participation of local communities, and that will be the starting point for all project interventions.
Large potential carbon storage capacity
Berbak National Park is the second largest peat swamp reserve in South East Asia, encompassing 162,500 hectares of the 250,000 ha of peatland in the Berbak landscape.
The park contributes to Indonesia’s peat stores of up to 60 billion metric tons amount of carbon, which equals with two-thirds of 88.6 billion metric tons of carbon held in tropical peat.
By rewetting the peatland the consortium contributes to Indonesia's commitment to the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 2 degree Celsius, with the aim of limiting it to 1,5 degree.
In the long run the restoration will also mitigate peatland fires and subsidence in Berbak landscape area.
Most strategic partnership
"This is one of the most strategic partnership we are going to enter into because peatland is very important for Indonesia. We are very excited and look forward to start this partnership," said MCA-Indonesia executive director, Bonaria Siahaan, on the occasion of signing the agreement.
Hari Kristijo of the National development planning agency Bappenas welcomed the grant disbursement. "I hope this project can benefit the environment and the people. On behalf of the government, I will help you with necessary services required to get this project going," he said.
According to Euroconsult Mott MacDonald project director, Hero Heering, the negotiation went very well and set the example for other collaboration. "We have been working in peatland management for quite some time in Indonesia. We hope this project can be a model and example in the future," he said.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an independent US foreign aid agency with an own identity in Indonesia, the MCA-Indonesia.
MCA-Indonesia provided a grnt of 8.5 million US dollar, matching the 8.5 million US dollar from the consortium, making the project worth 17 million US dollar.
The project starts in January 2016 and lasts until at least March 2018 when MCA-Indonesia funds end. It is possible that the project will be extended until 2021.
Read also on this website
● Euroconsult Mott MacDonald to lead natural resource management programme, Indonesia, 13 October 2015
● Euroconsult Mott MacDonald to lead programme on effective management water resources in Rwanda, 12 June 2015
● Learning Alliance identifies pilot for green coastal protection in Kendari Bay, Indonesia, 27 February 2015
● Country: Indonesia
Euroconsult Mott MacDonald
Arnhem, the Netherlands
+31 26 357 7111
Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
+62 21 3983 1971