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Peatland survey in Duta Palma concessions, Riau

Greenpeace International October 2007 During the past month, Greenpeace has investigated the depth of peatland and the status of the water table within the oil palm concessions of the Duta Palma companys subsidiaries PT BBU and PT Palma Satu, and ad acent to that of its subsidiary PT B!" # The concessions are located near the village of $uala %ena&u, situated the town of 'engat in 'iau Province, Sumatra, (ndonesia#

)ap *+ Duta Palma concessions near $uala %ena&u# %oncession borders are elaborated from the data contained in the ,nvironmental (mpact !ssessment submitted by PT B!"*, PT BBU- and PT Palma Satu#. The map also shows the part of larger peat dome that is covered by these three concessions# PT $encana !mal Tani is another Duta Palma concession in this area, situated on mineral soil#

Peat depth regulations in Indonesia

PT Bertuah Aneka Yasa, Draft Laporan, Kerangka Acuan Analisis Dampak Lingkungan (Ka - Andal) Kegiatan Perkebunan dan Pabrik, Pekanbaru, August 2007 2 PT Banyu Bening Utama, Ringkasan Eksekutif AMDAL Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit, Pekanbaru, April 2004 3 PT Palma Satu, Dokumen Kerangka Acuan, Analisis Dampak Lingkungan, Perkeubunan dan Pabrik Pengolahan Kelapa Sawit, PT PALMA SATU July 2007

!rticle */ of the (ndonesian Presidential Decree of -0 1uly *22/ on )anagement of Protected !rea 3 4o .- specifies that, 5upstream swamp and peatla nds deeper than three metres should be protected#5 !ccording to a *266 decree by the )inistry of 7orestry and Plantations concern3 ing criteria for choosing areas for palm oil plantations,8 5plantation developments on peat soils deeper than two metres are not allowed#5 The development of plantations on peatland deeper than two metres has, therefore, effectively been illegal since *226 and peatlands deeper than three metres should have been protected under (ndonesian law since *22/# Peatland depth survey of October 2007 in Duta Palma concessions 9or&ing under the supervision of e:perts from the %entre for (nternational %o3 operation in Sustainable )anagement of Tropical Peatland ;%()T'<P=, Greenpeace investigators documented the depth of peatland soils in and ad acent to the Duta Palma concessions held by PT BBU, PT Palma Satu and PT B!" #

)ap -+ Sampling points of peat depth and water table survey in and around the Duta Palma concessions# The concessions are held by PT Duta Palma subsidiaries#

Tropical peatlands have been created over a period of thousands of years under peat swamp forests# !s these forests die, they form large peat mounds or domes which are rich in the carbon accumulated from generations of trees# ! peat dome is commonly deepest in the middle and shallower around the edges, such as at
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the boundary of a river# Starting from the river, Greenpeace investigators measured the depth of the peat soil from outside the concession areas through the PT BBU concession, running close to and parallel to the PT B!" concession and a short way into a recently allocated concession controlled by PT Palma Satu#0 The transect is shown in )ap -# The transect was selected to cover the conditions in a large peat dome covered by all three subsidiaries concessions# This had previously been mapped by 9etlands (nternational and showed a peat depth of two to four metres#? The thic&ness or depth of the peat layer was measured by inserting into the peat soil a *0 centimetre bit3peat drill fi:ed to a two3metre long handle, until mineral soil was encountered# 9here the peat was very deep, the drill handle could be elongated to a ma:imum length of eight metres, if necessary # 9hen the drill hit mineral soil, it was rotated to ta&e a sample core# %ores were then ta&en from the entire length of the drill to enable analysis of the sample and accurate measurement of peat depth# indings of the peat depth investigat ion The main finding of the investigation is that the Duta P alma concessions lie on very deep strata of peat, ranging from .#0 metres outside the boundary of the concession> up to more than 6 metres deep in the middle of the concession area#6
Sampling point no ;)ap -= * (plantation border)

Distance from the %ena&u 'iver ;m= / *// -// 700 $ 200 2 200 ' !00

Peat thic&ness ;m= /#?2 -#0/ .#60 7"#0 7"%0 %"00 ("7'

! # 7 &

Table *+ 'ecord of peat depth at sampling points from the river into the concessions#

The peat thic&ness at the river was appro:imately /#?2 metre# !t the PT BBU concession border, the depth was .#60 metres which became deeper further into the concession# !t a distance of 0// metres inside this concession the peat depth was >#0 metres and at two &ilometres from the PT BBU border, the peat layer was found to be more than eight metres deep# The full depth of the peat could not be measured because the ma:imum e:tension of the drill was limited to eight metres# !t .#8 &ilometres from the river, ust outside the PT BBU boundary and into the PT Palma Satu concession boundary, the depth of the peat
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The boundaries used here for this concessions are based on the ,nvironmental (mpact !ssessment filed by PT Palma Satu in 1uly -//> ;Do&umen $erang&a !cuan !nalisis Dampa& Aing&ungan Per&ebunan dan Pabri& Pengolahan $elapa Sawit# PT Palma Satu, 1uly -//>= Wahyunto et. al (2003). Maps of Area of Peatland Distribution and Carbon Content in Sumatera !""0 # 2002. Wetlands $nternational % $ndonesia Pro&ramme ' Wildlife (abitat Canada (W(C). !t G(S location /B-2C*0#//5S D */-B.>C08#085,# !t G(S location /B./C0#2.5S D */-B.>C08#?>5,#

layer was measured at ?#. metres# This transect runs close to and parallel to the PT B!" concession, indicating that the peat dome also e:tends into the PT B!" concession# (t is therefore assumed that this concession is also situated on a deep strata of peat#

Peat thic&ness measurements underta&en in Duta Palma concessions near $uala %ena&u, 2 <ctober -//> E!rdiles 'ante

)urvey of the status of the *ater table *ithin the peatland concessions The Greenpeace team also undertoo& a survey of the level of the water table in order to determine the condition of the peat within the surveyed peat dome# (f peat is not fully drained, restoration can still be carried out, despite the fact that some drainage has ta&en place# )easurement of the water table was carried out by inserting plastic pipes into boreholes# The pipes were closed at the lower end to prevent debris from entering# They had small holes along their length at */ centimetre intervals# 9hen the pipes are inserted into the bore holes, ground water enters the pipes through the holes ma&ing it possible to measure the water level by inserting into the pipe a device that detects the presence of water# The level of the water table was measured from the soil surface#

Sampling point no ;)ap -= * (plantation border) .

Distance from the %ena&u 'iver ;m= / *// -// 700 $ 200 $ 700 2 200 ' 000 ' !00

9ater table ;m= / /#0? /#2/ $"2! $"'( $"00 0"7% 0"%0 0"&!

! # ( 7 % & Table -+ 'ecord of water table measurements

+otal peat and *aterlogged peat depth


2 6 > depth ,m? 0 8 . * / / *// -// >// *-// --// .8// Distance from river ,m- . not to scale

Total peat depth

Dry peat depth

Depth of waterlogged peat

7igure *+ Peat depth and water table findings# 7igure * shows the total peat depth, the depth of dried and waterlogged peat# The level of the water table is shown as the top of the grey shaded area#

Drainage canals at Duta Palma concessions Two main canals drain the water from peatland at the concessions in the %ena&u 'iver area# The first one, serving the PT B! " plantation, is located at the position /B-6C>#205 S */-B.6C.-#?>5 ,# The second canal, at /B-2C->#0/5 S */-B.>C./#*?5 ,, drains water from the PT BBU plantation into the river# !lthough the peat soil is not yet severely degraded, continued drainage will cause it to dry out within a few years# This will not only ma&e it e:tremely
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vulnerable to fire but the simple e:posure to o:ygen will start the decomposition processes and cause carbon in the dry peatland to o :idise and be released to the atmosphere as carbon dio:ide# indings of the *ater table investiga tion The water table measurements carried out at the Duta Palma oil palm plantation concession near the village of $uala %ena&u reveal that the water table is still close to the surface, at a depth of between *#.? and /#>6 met res ;see Table and 7igure *=# !ccording to e:perts from %()T'<P, this demonstrates that the peat is still largely wet and not yet severely compromised, indicating that the peatland could be restored# (f drainage continues, however, this peat dome will be severely degraded and beyond restoration in a few years# Implications of the findings The Greenpeace investigation shows that the peatland on which Duta Palmas subsidiaries hold oil palm concessions is much deeper than two metres and are therefore not allowed to be developed into oil palm plantations#2 7urthermore, the concessions lie on peat deeper than three metres and, according to a Presidential Decree from *22/, should be protected# )aps compiled by 9etlands (nternational as a basis for provincial land3use planning,*/ showed this area as having a peat depth of two to four metres# <ur investigation showed it to be much deeper, reaching over eight metres in some areas# !lthough these maps are currently the best available, our survey demonstrates that they are not sufficiently detailed to serve as a basis for provincial land3use planning Drainage of tropical peatland to one metre depth results in emissions of 6/3*// tonnes of carbon dio:ide ;%<-= per hectare per year, e:cluding the effects of fire#** (n large parts of the peat dome under Duta Palmas concessions, the drainage depth has already reached one metre# This could lead to *#0 million tonnes of %<- being emitted per year, eFuivalent to the annual %<- emissions from .>0,/// average !ustralian cars#*- 7urther drainage of this area is e:pected to dramatically increase emissions, given the peat depth of eight metres# The company Duta Palma is already in conflict with local communities and is destroying the habitat of endangered animals# (n addition, its operations are
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)inisterial Decree of the )inistry of 7orestry and Plantations, criteria for choosing areas for Palm oil plantations, 4o .>?@*226 of 6 !pril *226, 5plantation developments on peat soils deeper than two metres are not allowed5#

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9ahyunto et# al ;-//.=# )aps of !rea of Peatland Distribution and %arbon %ontent in Sumatera, *22/ D -//-# 9etlands (nternational 3 (ndonesia Programme G 9ildlife Habitat %anada ;9H%= Hooi er, !#, Silvius, )#, 9Isten, H# and Page, S# -//?# P,!T3%<-, !ssessment of %<- emissions from drained peatlands in S, !sia# Delft Hydraulics report J.28. ;-//?=

12 %ar eFuivalents+ The average distance driven per year is generally assumed to be *0,/// &m in !ustralia and the
average fuel consumption is estimated in the 4ational Greenhouse Gas (nventory ;4GG(= to be about *- litres per *// &m which is eFuivalent to *,6// litres per year# !ccording to the 4GG( 9or&boo& .#*, each litre of automotive gasoline ;i#e# petrol= burned in an average car produces -#-88 &g of %<-# Therefore the average car produces about 8 tonnes of %<- per year#

creating enormous emissions of greenhouse gases# Duta Palma is a member of the 'oundtable on Sustainable Development ;'SP<=# 4onetheless, because the water table is still relatively high it is not too late to restore the integrity of these particular peatlands#

/ call to action Greenpeace is calling on Duta Palma to stop the drainage of this peatland and underta&e restoration and replanting of the forest that it has destroyed in disregard of Presidential and )inisterial Decrees meant to protect such areas# Greenpeace is calling on the (ndonesian government to+ commit to a moratorium on deforestation and industrial loggingK commit to a review of laws, governance and law enforcementK implement a responsible and ust land3use planning system#

(n the run3up to the $yoto Protocol meeting in Bali, in December, Greenpeace wants the (ndonesian government to commit to a moratorium on conversion and destruction of (ndonesian peatland forests and ensure the implementation of an effective action plan against forest fires#