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What PFP Achieved With Your Support

Jan 26, 2023 by People for Peat

ISSUE 006   |   JAN 2023


Greetings Friends of Peat,

Happy New Year! We hope you’re as eager as we are to embrace the fresh opportunities offered by 2023! There is a lot to look forward to in the year ahead in terms of the fight against climate change, especially in the peat space. In this newsletter we are honoured to share with you some of the incredible impact your support has achieved and hope it inspires you to continue the work of bringing awareness to the importance of peatlands in the face of climate change and the mitigation of haze in ASEAN.

However, before we dive into all of that, let’s take a moment to refresh our minds about what happened in 2022 so that we can better appreciate the positive developments to come.



|      P E A T    F A C T S     | 
It has always been immensely important to us to make peatlands knowledge accessible to as many people as possible. That’s why we put a lot of effort into developing this simple but effective “Importance of Peatlands” video with subtitles in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Khmer, Tagalog, Laotian, Burmese, and Vietnamese. Now you can explain the importance of peatlands to your friends and family in your language.



|      S T O R I E S     |  


In the March 2022 Newsletter, we featured Dr. Cherdsak Kuaraksa from the Thale Noi Wetland Foundation whose work at the Kuan Kreng Peat Swamp Forest - the second-largest peat swamp forest in Thailand - has been invaluable to the local and international community.

Since we met him last, Dr. Cherdsak has achieved his goal of getting the ‘Thale Noi Wetland Pastoral Buffalo Agro-Ecosystem’ to be designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System. Congratulations, Dr. Cherdsak


Our June 2022 Newsletter introduced Professor Nguyen Khoi Nghia from the University of Can Tho in Vietnam. Held in high esteem by his students and the local community, the soil and environmental microbiology expert continues to champion using natural methods to produce high-quality agriculture products.

Since we last met, Prof. Nghia has co-authored an in-depth study which found microplastics in the peatlands of Long An province in the Mekong Delta, paving the way for sustainable development strategies in the region.


We usually feature one peat hero but we couldn’t bear to break apart power couple Jam Colas and Ronnie Villaber in the October 2022 Newsletter. The duo and their three children are still hard at work at their peatland farm - The Peat by Wild Wild Pigs - in Tacloban, Philippines.

Since we were last at the farm, The Peat has hosted students from a local university on an educational tour, and was also used as a filming location for the local movie “Kabayo”. Exciting stuff!

Know someone who deserves to be featured on Peat Heroes? Send us an email


|      N E W S   O N   P E A T     |

New Peat Tree Species Discovered in Indonesia

Researchers have discovered a new species of peatland tree in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, adding to the slow-growing list of 350 tree species in Southeast Asia’s peatlands. There is hope that Lophopetalum tanahgambut - which translates to The Peatland Crowned Petal - will give scientists the information they need to restore the region’s degraded peatlands.


U Minh Ha: Peatlands of Vietnam

In comparison to other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam has a relatively small peatland area. U Minh Ha national park is one of the country’s two protected wetland forest zones. It has shrunk considerably in size over the past few decades due to poor management. Fortunately, authorities have since stepped up efforts to conserve these critical ecosystems with the help of the local community, while placing a particular emphasis on fire-prevention.


Monitoring Peatland Groundwater Levels to Predict El Niño

Prolonged research at peat forests in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia has turned existing knowledge on its head by suggesting that monitoring peatland groundwater levels can predict extreme climate events such as El Niño. 27 years of data show that groundwater levels drop before El Niño reaches its peak. Other than being useful as an extreme climate event prediction, this research could also offer a crucial insight into the relationship between climate change and peatland degradation.



Do you have an ongoing project with tropical peatlands?

Send us an email at peopleforpeat@trcrc.org



|      OPPORTUNITIES      |



PFP Business Hub welcomes partners & projects on peatlands in research, business & investment, & community involvement.

Reach out to us to get connected.




"I think community-based conservation and a value-based approach are crucial when it comes to peatlands conservation. Sustainable economic endeavours such as eco-tourism or activities that do not degrade peatlands are important so that the local community can

 benefit, feel ownership, and a sense of belonging, which empowers them to assist the authorities, especially Johor Forestry Department and Muar District Office to conserve this ecosystem. This will create a coordinated effort with all stakeholders to conserve this sensitive ecosystem."

Associate Professor Ts. Dr. Muhammad Abdul Latiff Bin Abu Bakar
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia on the Ayer Hitam Utara Forest Reserve


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