Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project (Indonesia)
Type: Agriculture Forestry and other Land Use
Location: Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
Scope: 149,800 hectares, 7,451,846 CO2-e avoided emissions each year
Crediting Period Term: 1st, 01/11/2010 – 31/10/2070
Certification: Verified carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB)
Indonesian Borneo, known as Kalimantan, encompasses approximately 5.7 million hectares (ha) of peatland. By 2020, the expansion of industrial plantations on peatlands in Kalimantan alone is estimated to contribute to 18–22% of Indonesia’s total GHG emissions. The Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project (‘The Katingan Project’) seeks to protect and restore 149,800 hectares of peatland ecosystems. The main project objectives, all based on a solid business model, are to offer local people a sustainable source of income, to preserve local wildlife, and to tackle climate change.
The project lies within the districts of Katingan and Kotawaringin Timur in Central Kalimantan Province, and covers one of the largest remaining intact peat swamp forests in Indonesia. The area stores vast amounts of CO2, and plays a vital role in stabilizing water flows, preventing devastating peat fires, enriching soil nutrients and providing clean water.
Tropical peatlands support fundamental ecological functions and store massive amounts of carbon, with stocks below the ground making up up to 20 times the amount stored in trees and vegetation. When cleared, drained and burned to make way for plantations and other developments, this carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other greenhouse gases (GHG). This must be avoided.
It is rich in biodiversity, being home to large populations of many high conservation value species, including some of the world’s most endangered; such as the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus). It is surrounded by villages for which it supports traditional livelihoods including farming, fishing, and non-timber forest products harvesting.
The project area is located entirely within state-designated production forest. Without the project, the area would be converted to fast-growing industrial timber plantations, grown for pulpwood. The Katingan Project prevents this fate and developers have obtained full legal control of the production forest area through an Ecosystem Restoration Concession license (ERC), blocking the applications of plantation companies.