Sustainable Use of Peatland Forests in South East Asia (2010-2015)





Executing Partners : National and local government agencies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam, ASEAN Secretariat, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and Global Environment Centre.

Other Partners : Brunei Darussalam and Singapore

GEF Focal Areas : Land Degradation, Biodiversity, Climate Change

Funders : Global Environment Facility (GEF) & International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Period of Execution : Four years (2010-2014)

Project Website:

The APFP project aims to demonstrate, implement and scale up sustainable management and rehabilitation of peatland forests in Southeast Asia. It fits within the framework of the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative, and directly supports the APMS (2006-2020), and associated National Action Plans on peatlands in the participating ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. Through strengthening institutional capacity and awareness; enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships; and on-the-ground demonstrations of sustainable peatland management and rehabilitation measures within countries, the project tackles barriers and root causes that prevent sustainable peatland management while, at the same time, delivers tangible environmental benefits, and reduces peat fires and associated transboundary haze pollution. The project was declared effective on 28 July and its Inception Workshop was held in Kuala Lumpur in November 2009. The project was concluded in December 2014.

Strengthening institutional capacity and frameworks
The project strengthens inter-sectoral policy and planning frameworks for integrated peatland management, including supporting the development and implementation of National Action Plans on peatlands. The Project  also build capacity for peatland management through training and awareness programmes in key sectoral agencies and institutions, creating a core group of peatland experts in the region. The possibility of establishing innovative financing mechanisms are being explored to support the longer term implementation of the APMS.

Reducing the rate of degradation of peatlands in Southeast Asia
The project has an immediate impact on controlling peatland fires and reducing transboundary haze by developing and supporting effective prediction and warning tools for fire-prone peatlands at the regional level, while improving prevention and control mechanisms at the local level. The Project has developed an inventory of peatland areas of critical importance in the region with recommendations for management actions; particularly priority areas for biodiversity conservation and rehabilitation; and for carbon storage potential.

Demonstrating integrated management and rehabilitation of peatlands at target sites
The project has developed a network of demonstration sites to showcase sustainable peatland management and rehabilitation options. Common strategies and master plans for entire peatland hydrological units are produced through a multi-stakeholder and integrated approach at selected sites. Within demonstration sites, the project undertakes activities to restore and improve the resilience of the ecosystem, for e.g. by blocking abandoned drainage channels to restore the hydrological regime and help reforest degraded areas.

Engaging the private sector and local communities in sustainable peatland management
The project is highly innovative in that it engages with partners across sectors and at various levels. It is working with high-impact sectors such as the oil palm community (through the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil and national oil palm associations) and the forest industry. At selected pilot sites, joint activities with the private sector and the local community would involve community forest management and integrated farming. At regional level, guidelines for best practices for plantations on peatlands are jointly developed with the private sector. 

Executing Partners : Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and ASEAN countries.

Target Groups : Government policy makers and land use planners of ASEAN Member States at national, sub-national and local levels responsible forpeatland and other forest management; managers of peatland resources and forests; peatland forest-dependent local people; and communities living in and adjacent to fire-prone/degraded peatland areas.

Funder : European Union

Period of Execution : 4 years (December 2010 - December 2014) (extended to June 2015)

Project Website:

Southeast Asia (SEA) Peat project is mainly focuses on reduce deforestation and degradation of peatland forests in SEA by strengthening governance and developing incentives to promote their integrated management, sustain local livelihoods, reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and conserve biodiversity. There are other objectives of the project as well:

Main Implementation Activities: