Based on the findings from the Sustainable Peatlands for People and Climate (SPPC) project, Wetlands International recommends that lessons be learnt and we should work towards protecting the remaining peat swamp forests and start rehabilitating those that are degraded.
Presently the awareness among the people on this issue is far from sufficient and the role of environmental organisations is needed to fill in the gaps and to carry the message across that Peatlands are important. They play an important part in our lives through their ecosystems and the services they provide. Currently environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working towards peatland conservation issues is limited, thus the process in promoting peatlands issues efficiently is hampered.
On the 2nd of December (Wednesday), Wetlands International organised a programme, ‘Training on the Sustainable Management of Peatland’. It was held at the office of Malaysian Environmental NGOs’ (MENGO) in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. The training was organized as a information sharing platform for the NGOs to enhance their knowledge on the consequences of peatlands conversion for agricultural and development activities. The objectives were to:
- Impart knowledge on rehabilitation, sustainable management and research prospect of peatlands in
- Malaysia through knowledge sharing and capacity building.
- Knowledge sharing in peatland ecosystem.
- To share the result of the case study on subsidence in Rajang Delta, Sarawak.
- Provide an overview of selected tools for sustainable peatlands management.
The session began with a presentation by Dr. Jonathan Davies on Introduction on Peat and Peatlands of Southeast Asia, followed by presentation on the findings of the Subsidence model and flooding projection in Rajang Delta, Sarawak by representative from Wetlands International, Miss Yong Huai Mei. The session continued after lunch break with Dr. Stephanie Evers on Review of Hydrological Management Issues in Tropical Peatlands. The last session for the training was given by GIS consultant, Mr Nyon Yong Chik on Database and monitoring system –GIS database with mapping capability Case Study: Ayer Hitam FR.
Dr Jonathan Davies, Ecologist
Dr Stephenie Evers, Nottingham University, Malaysia Campus
Ms Yong Huaimei, Wetlands International – Malaysia
Mr Nyon Yong Chik, GIS Consultant
Participants were from environmental organisations (Malaysian Nature Society, WWF-Malaysia, Global Environment Centre) and individuals who are passionate to learn more about peatlands. It was a constructive and successful programme with the participants actively participating during the programme by questioning the Trainers and also contributing their views and thoughts on the peatlands, the effects of drainage on the peatlands and thinking of ways to alert the general public, politicians, decision makers, etc on this issue.
We would like to thank all the Trainers, participants and especially MENGO for hosting the Training venue and their staff for the warm hospitality.