Palm oil plantation threat to coastal peat swamp forest, case of Tripa, Aceh, Indonesia
To reduce negative impact of palm-oil plantations on Tripa swamp, PanEco has developed a full-fledge project for the “Restoration and protection of the last coastal peat swamp rainforests on the West coast of Aceh as an integral component of Aceh reconstruction, economic development and coastal security”. In that context, the rehabilitation of the ecological function of the Tripa swamp -- Tsunami barrier, carbon stock, maintenance of water level and biodiversity -- is vital for the local (district/ kabupaten) development. The programme has two mutually reinforcing objectives:
1. Improve local environment governance, including education, public awareness, developing policies and laws, and strengthening local level institutions involved in development planning and environmental management. One of the main activities is to help the district to develop and enforce law preventing development of palm-oil estates on its territory, in line with existing ASEAN Peatland management strategy (ASEAN/APMI; November 2005) and Indonesian policy.
2. Provide sustainable alternative to improve livelihoods among neighbouring communities. Such opportunities could depend directly on the sustainable management of the peat swamp forests, in order to bolster incentives for their protection. This includes reforestation, tourism, traditional agriculture/ medicine. Emphasis will also be on income opportunities outside the protected peat swamp areas to release pressure on the forests themselves. This includes promotion of sustainable production of palm-oil on fallow land according to the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm-Oil (RSPO) guidelines in partnership with one of the districts. The leading international company PT SOCFINDO that is on the area and that has the best social, economic and environmental records there and is a RSPO member has indicated its interest to be associated in this endeavour. Note that PanEco is an RSPO member itself. PanEco is involved in the RSPO as there are no other initiatives regulating effectively the impact of palm-oil plantations on biological conservation. It means that RSPO may not be the best option, but it is the only one workable at the moment as there are no inter-governmental agreed guidelines.
(edited on 2007-02-23 13:25 UTC by denis ruysschaert)
posted on 2007-02-23 13:18 UTC by denis ruysschaert, PanEco