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Peatland News

Title: Save peat bogs for future generation
Date: 08-Jul-2017
Category: Brunei Darussalam
Source/Author: The Borneo Bulletin
Description: Opinion by Mr Mahmud Yusoff on Peatland conservation in Brunei.

I WOULD like to refer to an article regarding peat bogs published on June 19, 2017.

The peat bogs mentioned are so far “the one and only” successful peat bog formation found in this region or may be on this planet.

The formation of the bogs is not only for carbon sink in the form of living carbon biomass, but more importantly it keeps Belait District afloat above the sea level amidst the global concern on rising sea levels due to global warming.

Regarding the industrial application, the whole ecosystem within the peat bogs prevents the intrusion of sea water into the freshwater area of the Belait River where the continuous flow of freshwater is an important source of water for the hydrocarbon industry. The continuing formation of the peat bogs is really due to the pristine and preserved Peat Swamp Forest (PSF).

In view of this, it’s timely that the world’s endangered PSF to be totally protected as to maintain the “Belait Brand” (the only area with good stand of PSF in the world). Logging concession, sand mining and infrastructural development associated with deforestation and construction of drainage system within the peat bogs should be ceased immediately or else the reverse process – that is the decomposition of peat bogs formed many years ago will be unstoppable and will result in the subsidence effect.

The loss of peat bogs is monetarily immeasurable and far beyond the value of timber extracted from the area (7000 cubic metres per year with estimated total annual coupe of ~30 ha.), and its irreversible negative impact will be felt across the country. We will experience a great loss of millions of years-old forest ecosystems on this planet.

Please save this invaluable nature treasure for our future generations because its socio-economic and environmental value is going up as time goes by.

– Mahmud Yussof

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