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The peatland biodiversity management toolbox

A handbook for the conservation and management of peatland biodiversity in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has more than 25 million ha of peatlands or 60% of the known tropical peatland resource. However about two-thirds of the peatlands are heavily utilized or degraded and, over the past 10 years, more than three million ha have burnt – generating smoke clouds covering up to five countries, causing economic losses of billions of dollars and triggering major health and environmental concerns. Deforested and drained peatlands in Southeast Asia are also a globally significant source of CO2 emissions, equivalent to almost 8% of global emissions from fossil fuel burning.

In February 2003, ten Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) endorsed the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative (APMI) to act as a framework for collaborative activities to address peatland degradation and fires. Subsequently in November 2006, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment endorsed the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy 2006-2020 (APMS) to guide the sustainable management of peatlands in the region.

The goal of the strategy is promote sustainable management of peatlands in the ASEAN region through collective action and enhanced cooperation to support and sustain local livelihoods, reduce the risk of fire and associated haze, and contribute to global environmental management. The strategy includes 25 operational objectives and 97 action points in 13 focal areas ranging from integrated management to climate change and peatland inventory. Countries in the region are currently in the process of developing and implementing their respective National Action Plans.

The preparation of this handbook was initiated under the project on Conservation of Peatland Biodiversity in Southeast Asia (Phase 2) supported by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to support for the implementation of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy 2006-2020 and associated National Action Plans. Under the ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP), the Handbook was revised and finalised as part of the Project’s aim to promote the establishment of a network of protected peatlands through awareness and outreach to various stakeholders.

Download the handbook here: The peatland biodiversity management toolbox