KUALA LUMPUR: The destruction of peat land is likely to increase unless effective preventive measures are put in place now, a scientist warned yesterday.
“Peat fires have begun in Malaysia and Indonesia again over the past week and swift action has to be taken against them,” said Faizal Parish, director of the Global Environment Centre.
Some 100 international peat land restoration experts are here for the two-day International Workshop on Integrated Management and Rehabilitation on Peat Lands, held ahead of next week’s Seventh Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The workshop featured presentations by experts from Indonesia, China, Germany, and Malaysia among others, and focused on recent efforts to address peat land problems. This is the first meeting in Asia to bring such experts together to develop common strategies and techniques for peat land restoration and management.
Among the presentation was the Asean Peat Land Management Initiative that facilitates active co-operation and sharing of expertise and resources among the 10 Asean countries to prevent peat fires and manage peat land.
Malaysian researchers Murugadas Loganathan and Khali Aziz Hamzah also presented a paper on key considerations in the management of the South-East Pahang peat swamp forests while Shamsudin Ibrahim from Forest Research Institute Malaysia presented the challenges of peat land rehabilitation in Malaysia.
The workshop was organised by the Global Environment Centre and Wetlands International with the support of United Nations Environment Programme, the Global Environment Facility, the Climate Change, Forest and Peat Land in Indonesia project and the Danish International Development Agency who provided a grant to the Malaysian Government for peat land conservation project.