Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Tropical Peatland Forestry: Toward Forest Restoration and Sustainable Use of Wood Resources in Degraded Peatland

Author

  • Hideyuki Saito 
  • Akio Koizumi
  • Sampang Gaman
  • Prawira Yuda
  • Penyang
  • Masato Shibuya

  • Abstract

    Forestry is an important land-use type in tropical peatlands that provides socio-economic and environmental services. Currently, tropical peatland forestry has contributed to the timber industry, but timber harvest has unfortunately caused degradation and deforestation in massive areas of tropical peat swamp forests. Consequently, serious reductions of wood resources and environmental services occurred in peatland forests, with land managers being caught in a forest management dilemma between the needs for timber production, conservation and restoration of environmental services. The woody materials produced from peatland forests have various and unique characteristics; these forests also provide commercially valuable timber. Given that degraded peatland can be restored to forest composed of indigenous trees of high ecological and commercial value, land managers feel confident that they can provide the benefits of both timber production and improved environmental services. First, during planting one must understand which tree species are best adapted to local site-conditions if successful reforestation techniques are to be developed. Cost-effectiveness must also be concerned, especially in degraded peatland, where considerable flooding may determine the survival and growth rates of seedlings and the operating cost. Second, as a management strategy, a reforestation program should be required to provide multiple benefits, not only timber production and environmental services, but these programs should also improve socio-economic conditions that ensure the ongoing livelihood of local people. In the future, tropical peatland forestry should play the roles of providing for both the restoration and sustainable use of wood resources in a way that benefits both the local community and the global market.

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