Peatland Programme

Peatlands are one of the major land types in Southeast Asia .In a natural state these occur as peat swamp forests. These wetland forests have developed primarily in the coastal lowland plains in-between major rivers. They cover approximately 35 million ha in the region with the majority in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand and Viet Nam and smaller areas in Myanmar, Lao PDR and the Philippines. In Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam they form more than 10% of the land area of the country.

Peat swamp forests play a critical role in the economy and ecology of the region -

As one of the non-profit organization that is actively involved in peatland conservation and rehabilitation, GEC promotes sustainable management of peatlands and works closely with various stakeholders to promote best management practices in peatland management, peat fire prevention and rehabilitation. Contact us at, to find out more about our conservation and rehabilitation works on peatland.

Overview Map of Peatlands in Southeast Asia (SEA)

Peatland Conservation and Management Projects


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


Two projects were run to support the implementation of regional and national strategies for sustainable management of peatlands forests in Southeast Asia from 2010 to 2015. They facilitated the incorporation of peatland management into policies and plans related to peatland conservation. The two projects which complement and co-funded each other were Rehabilitation and Sustainable Use of Peatland Forests in Southeast Asia (known as “APFP Project”) and Sustainable Management of Peatland Forest in Southeast Asia (known as “SEApeat Project”). APFP was completed in December 2014 and SEApeat activities will end by June 2015. Arrangements for a new regional project, ASEAN Programme on Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosytems (APSMPE) is being finalised and is slated to begin in 2016.

Rehabilitation of Peat Swamp Forest together with Orang Asli Community near Pahang Forest Reserve

This project engages local Orang Asli community at Bukit Leelau to restore peat swamp forest in Pekan Forest Reserve and prevent peat fire occurrences. 


Sustainable Landscape Management in South Ketapang

Located in South Ketapang, Indonesia, the project visions to develop and implement peatland management and protection as well as improve socio-economic values (optimal land use and alternative livelihood) of the areas. 


ASEAN Programme for Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems (APSMPE) (2014-2020)

This programme is a long term multi-stakeholder Programme for the Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems (2014-2020). It supports the collaboration between different stakeholders (including government, private sector, communities and civil society) in the ASEAN Region to achieve the goal of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS, 2006-2020), which is to promote sustainable management of peatlands in the ASEAN region through collective actions and enhanced cooperation, to support and sustain local livelihoods, reduce risk of fire and associated haze and contribute to global environment management.

ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative (APMI)

In 2003 GEC was formally appointed by the ASEAN secretariat to act as a lead partner for the ASEAN peatland management Initiative (APMI) with a focus on technical and operational support. In this role GEC has facilitate numerous workshops, meetings and exchanges and also played a key role in generating resources to support development and implementation of the initiative. Since 2005 GEC has been appointed by ASEAN counties as the executing agency for the development and implementation of a project to support the rehabilitation and sustainable management of peatland forests in Southeast Asia with funding from IFAD/GEF.