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RSPO manual on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for management and rehabilitation of natural vegetation associated with oil palm cultivation on peat

The objective of this manual is to provide a set of practical guidance on Best Management Practices (BMPs) that are important for the rehabilitation and management of forested or degraded sites within existing oil palm plantations on peat or areas adjacent to them e.g. river reserves, High Conservation Value (HCV) areas or permanently undrainable patches after prolonged oil palm cultivation.

This manual draws on experience of peatland management and rehabilitation in South East Asia. It also draws on and refers to existing national regulations and guidelines especially from Indonesia and Malaysia where there is extensive experience in peatland management and rehabilitation.

This manual is part of the effort by RSPO and its members, particularly producers, in responding to stakeholder concerns to promote the implementation of Best Management Practices and contribute to sustainable peatland management as part of reducing the impacts of oil palm cultivation on peat.

It is noted that while it is possible with good water management measures to maintain peat swamp forest in good condition adjacent to oil palm plantations – restoration of degraded peatlands to its original pristine condition is almost impossible once an area has been cleared, drained and cultivated as much may be irreversibly changed in degraded peatlands (e.g. peat compaction and loss). In such cases, the objective should be to rehabilitate the degraded peat sites as much as practical towards its original state.


Image credit: Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA)