Two years ago, the Indonesian Geospatial Information Agency, together with sponsors from across the world, called for entries for the Indonesian Peat Prize. The prize was to be awarded to the research team that is able to map the peatland distribution in Indonesia with the best combination of precision, cost efficiency and speediness. The goal is to avoid the further destruction of tropical peatland forests and to create a foundation for the ambitious plans of the Indonesian government regarding the rewetting of these areas.
The International Peat Mapping Team (IPMT) was chosen winner from a total of 44 competing teams from across the globe. Apart from Prof Hans Joosten from the University of Greifswald, partner at the Greifswald Mire Centre, the team is made up of remote sensing specialists from RemoteSensingSolutions and Airbus DS Geo and experienced Indonesian peatland experts.
‘This is an international award and both a confirmation and chance for our research, the protection and sustainable use of peatland areas in Indonesia and throughout the world,’ says Prof Joosten. He and his team have been conducting research in Indonesia into greenhouse gases, the evolution and land use of peatland areas since 2006.
Indonesia is experiencing considerable problems due to intensive agricultural land use for palm oil and wood for paper. Tropical peatlands were drained on a large scale to suit these monocultures. The results are degradation, loss of land, extreme greenhouse gas emissions and devastating peat fires. These have led to thousands of deaths and substantial damages in Indonesia and the surrounding region. The Indonesian government is now fighting these climate damaging effects with a dedicated programme, which also includes the Indonesian Peat Prize.
Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joosten
Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology
Tel.:+49 3834 420 4177 or 4137
Contact at the Greifswald Mire Centre
Peatlands and Climate Protection
Michael Succow Foundation for the Protection of Nature
Partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre
Tel.: +49 3834 8354217
Mobile: +49 157 58796977