Please come back at a later time. PDF : 3. According to the second edition of the Works Ministry’s Guidelines for Construction on Peat and Organic Soils in Malaysia, Malaysia currently has a total of 2,457,730ha of peat-covered land, with the largest … High water tables in peatlands limit the amount of oxygen that reaches the organic material. Photo: flickr/Wakx. Most of Malaysia’s peatland comprises peat swamp forest, which is said to be a critically endangered category of forested wetlands, and is usually located in coastal areas in all states except … Oil palms are cultivated on peat on a large scale since the mid fifties. Malaysia has approximately 2.6 Mha of peatlands, of which about 70 % (∼1.6 Mha) are in Sarawak. Major Soil Types in Malaysia and Soil Classification 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Major Soil Type 2.1 Residual soils 2.2 Glacial soils 2.3 Alluvial soils 2.4 Lacustrine soils 2.5 Marine soils 2.6 Aeolian soils 2.7 Colluvial soils 2.8 Organic soils and peat 3.0 Soil … It is a 100% organic product and is a proven natural alternative to mined peat moss, therefore using it helps slow down peat … Wilmar will continue to buy palm oil from plantations that were established on peat soils prior to December 5, 2013. He said construction of roads on peat soil poses great engineering challenges to Sarawak, as compared to road construction in Peninsular Malaysia where peat soil is almost non-existence. “Collect data and from that data we can derive certain solutions in order to face challenges when we use peat as part of our economic development,” he said. Will Congress Let Clean Energy Momentum Stall Out During COVID? He said with new technology and application of new technology and data analysis, the derived outcome of that particular research can be shared with the rest of the world. Thanks for directing me to this paper. “Against that background we are supporting Tropi to do this research. Will you join us? Will Renewables Finish Ahead of Coal in 2020? MATERIALS AND METHODS. While high water tables are responsible for preventing the organic material from decaying, the flipside is that when these peat soils are drained, they are again exposed to oxygen. Posts that are commercial, self-promotional, obscene, rude, or disruptive will be removed. Muhammad Aqeel Ashraf, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, University Malaysia, Sabah.His field of interest is environmental soil science. So any degradation of peatlands is too much! Wilmar will not buy palm oil from plantations that have been established on peat soils of any depth after its December 5 announcement. With their soil made up of predominantly organic matter, the world’s peatlands store twice as much carbon dioxide, one of the climate-changing greenhouse gases, as its forests: an estimated 550 gigatons, to be precise. Bright Spots on Climate to End a Dark Year. … Peat swamps in Malaysia … Malaysia), followed by Peninsular Malaysia … The Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (STROPI) was founded in the year 2008. Trial pits were excavated to a depth of 1 m below the ground surface to measure ground water table and to obtain both undisturbed and disturbed soil … A study on peatland in Peninsular, Malaysia was conducted to determine stratigraphy of peat layer, bearing capacity, physical properties, unconfined compressive strength and consolidation properties. The poor inherent physical properties of peat such as low bulk density, high water-table and rapid subsidence rate make its development for oil palm … And the costs of not protecting peatlands are indeed high for both the local communities and the planet! These soils are transported to their present position by rivers and streams. FREE SHIPPING in Peninsular Malaysia for orders above RM200.00. Also present were Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, MPS president Dr Lulie Melling, and others. 5 Reasons Clean Fuel Standards are the Secret Key to Decarbonizing Transportation, Another Reason Energy Costs are Higher in Winter, Contracts to Burn: How Long-Term Fossil Fuel Contracts and Power Purchase Agreements Lock In Pollution, Top Four Ways that the Biden Administration Can Center Environmental Justice Reform, Five Years on, Keeping the Hope of the Paris Agreement Alive and Strong, Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy. By the early 2000s, Sarawak had already lost about 100,000 ha (~247,000 acres) of peatlands to oil palm plantations. We are looking at how we can bring this research agenda to governmental levels in the Malaysian context. “Do further research and try to convince the world that carbon emissions is not only because of peat… If all the carbon in Malaysian peat soils were to be released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it would be equivalent to the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2008-2012. Here’s what she had to say: Wilmar’s announcement had three main points relating to peat soils. This peat has unique characteristics, which makes it significantly different from other peat. UCS respects your privacy and will not display, lend, or sell your email address for any reason. We must give evidence to our conviction. However in Malaysia, peat soil is described and generally termed as basin and valley peat. Let MPS, with Sarawak as a backbone, convince the world that peat is useful in economic development. Additionally, in a newspaper article, a SOPPOA spokesperson is quoted as saying that there is not a scientific consensus that peat has either high carbon stock or releases high levels of carbon dioxide. Karen Perry Stillerman | December 21, 2020, Maria Cecilia Pinto de Moura | December 21, 2020, Jessica Collingsworth | December 17, 2020. ― Borneo Post, Covid-19 vaccine free for Sarawakians, says CM as Malaysia signs deals with suppliers, Health D-G: Another rabies-related death reported in Sarawak, No new Covid-19 cases in Sarawak today as Uggah resumes SDMC duties ahead of schedule. KUCHING, Dec 22 ― Scientific evidence is important to convince the world that peat is useful in economic development, said the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. While it is estimated that around 29% of current oil palm plantations in Sarawak are on peatlands, that doesn’t mean that around 71% of the total land in Sarawak is available for development. Support from UCS members make work like this possible. In Malaysia, peat has been classified as one of the major soil group. Gondang There are 2.4 million hectares of peat in Malaysia, with 1.5 million hectares occurring in Sarawak alone. These are soils high in organic matter content. Wilmar’s peat-free palm oil policy does not mean it will stop sourcing palm oil from Sarawak, but rather that it recognizes that peatlands are a valuable resource to be protected. “What is important is scientific evidence. By far the largest problem is that these guidelines do not take into account the enormous importance, both in terms of carbon and biodiversity, of these lands. It remains to be seen how implementation will occur. SUMMARY Peatland in Malaysia covers approximately 2.76 million hectares of which 796,782 hectares are in Peninsular Malaysia (Law and Selvadurai, 1968), 200,600 hectares in Sabah (Acres et al, 1975) and 1,765,547 hectares in Sarawak (Melling, 1999). Here’s hoping we get some of these questions answered and have improved communication to the broader public and to help inform policy. Nur Azima, B. I asked my colleague, Lael Goodman, an analyst with the Tropical Forest Team and our resident peat expert, to explain the situation. UCS believes it is important to protect all tropical peatlands, regardless of depth because of their importance in carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Very interesting and thought-provoking article. Wilmar, the largest trader (and one of the largest producers) of palm oil, Wilmar’s “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy”, Malaysia alone is estimated to have 9 Gt of carbon contained in its peatlands, carbon that has been stored in the soil for centuries, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2008-2012, an amount of carbon equivalent to 13 to 40 percent of mean global carbon emissions from fossil fuels, Sarawak had already lost about 100,000 ha (~247,000 acres) of peatlands to oil palm plantations, only 10 percent of peatlands from Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra are either intact or only slightly degraded, Around 71 percent of oil palm plantations in Sarawak are located on non-peat soils, New Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power a Home for a Day in Just 7 Seconds, Trump’s Rushed Oil Leasing in the Arctic: A Dumpster Fire of Desperation, Greed, and Crippling Loyalty Tests. Sarawak is rich in peat soils, so this new policy could have real implications for where oil palm plantations can expand in that state. - 2019 Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia. It raises a lot of good points and the list of questions is definitely thought provoking. But it’s the announcement by Wilmar, the largest trader (and one of the largest producers) of palm oil, that is likely to have the greatest impact on the palm oil industry. The peat swamp forests of Sarawak are being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations, releasing thousands of years of stored carbon into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. peat soil Over drained, too acidic, subsidence Main issues and soil threats/cont’d Development on Peat Soil - 2.7 mil. Land … However, he expressed his pride for the society’s accomplishments as well as Tropi’s contributions in helping to provide feedback for the government to formulate policies as far as peat is concerned. Peat domes are sensitive ecosystems, such that changes (e.g. On the other hand, Sarawak is committed to have clean energy. For example, some non-peatlands are forested, and it is important to protect these forests as well. The key facts seem to be that only 10% of peatlands remain intact or only slightly degraded. And I definitely agree with your assessment. The behaviour and composition of these peats are different from each other, … Coco Peat makes an excellent growing medium for hydroponics, soil mixes, and container plant growing. Photo: Paul Hilton Photography. Peat soils encompass 2,457,730 ha (7.45%) of Malaysia’s total land area (32,975,800 ha). This clean coir has natural rooting hormones and anti-fungal properties. Carbon dioxide and methane emission from compacted tropical peat soil. are overlain with substantial formations of peat soils, almost unrivalled when compared to other parts of Malaysia. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board states that Sarawak has about 1.6 million hectares of peatlands. Posted in: Global Warming, Tropical Forests The SOPPOA is making claims that currently there are no credible scientific studies to justify the policy of ‘No Peat’ planting because all planters in the Sarawak adhere to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s Best Management practices for planting on peat, which they claim are scientifically sound and sustainable. Hopes for the Biden-Harris Administration, Northeast Reaches Major Milestone to Reduce Emissions and Raise Revenue for Transportation, but Much More Work Remains, 6 Things to Know about the 2020 Cyberattack and Nuclear Power Plants, Having Faith in Science: Why Loving Thy Neighbor Means Refraining from In-Person Worship. Tropical peat differs from temperate peat … In the Malaysia, a study on water-table management was carried out on shallow and deep peat at MPOB Research Station, Sessang, Sarawak. We deliver to your doorstep. It is estimated that only 10 percent of peatlands from Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra are either intact or only slightly degraded. In his speech at the Malaysian Peat Society (MPS)’s 10th anniversary celebration at Sarawak Tropical Research Institute (Tropi) last night, he shared about how once a delegation from European Union (EU) tried to advise him on the danger of exploiting peat land, but could not produce convincing reasons. Further, Wilmar’s policy doesn’t prohibit it from sourcing from the 29 percent of palm plantations currently established on peat, only that those plantations use best management practices to reduce carbon emissions and environmental damage. This Election Showed Science Really Is Rising! “Recently we announced that we will build a centre for research of infectious diseases. Its topo … Collectively, Indonesia and Malaysia have more than 24 million hectares of peatland. Scientific research is important to us. ... Serbajadi Jiffy 7 Peat … The area of peatland within palm oil concessions, however, is much larger, and many are unplanted but … Drained peat soils are particularly flammable, and peat fires can burn for weeks or even months. Malaysian peat is a tropical peat (Andriesse, 1988). Wilmar will explore options for peatland restoration in some areas. To help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion, please focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and refrain from personal attacks. We also do not want to pollute the environment,” he said, adding that he is convinced MPS and Tropi will be able do it. In this age you can use artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics. “We must have scientific evidence to show whether something is right or wrong. Peat formation is influenced by moisture and temperature. supports the largest area of peat soils in Malaysia: 1,697,847 ha (69.08 % of the total peatland area in. Tropical peatland forest is a unique dual ecosystem of both rainforest and peatland. The peat formations in some parts of Sibu Town are well over 10 metres in depth. All of these statements are scientifically untrue. However, not everyone is enthusiastic about Wilmar’s announcement and particularly its peatland protections. It looks like you and your colleagues are making some great contributions to the field of tropical peat literature. Please note that comments are open for two weeks following each blog post. Just this year, it has been reported that there have been more than 7,000 bush and peat fires in Malaysia since the beginning of February. “Our objective is not only for Sarawak, not only for Malaysia. Clean Energy 2020 Year in Review: Midwest Progress, Rebuild Arecibo Observatory: One Scientist’s Reflection on Advocacy and Research, Clean Energy 2020 Year in Review: 3 Bad-News Stories, 2 Good, 1 Write Your Own Ending. For all you know, there are plants on peat that have the compounds for us to produce a vaccine against Covid-19. The institute was initially established as the Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit (TPRL) under the mandate of the … In total, Malaysia alone is estimated to have 9 Gt of carbon contained in its peatlands. Other than recommending that a survey “study” the biodiversity, hydrology, peat soil characteristics, potential yield, and social impact on local communities, there is very little on which areas of land should be left undeveloped. Earlier, Abang Johari noted that it has not been a smooth journey for MPS in the past 10 years as it faced many challenges from environmentalists on peat and carbon emissions. Wilmar’s “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy” requires that all of the palm oil it produces and trades is free of deforestation, peatland destruction, and exploitation. UCS welcomes comments that foster civil conversation and debate. We must try to get scientific evidence. Malaysian Peat Soils are Different from Temperate Peat Soils and Have Lower Co2 Emissions. Carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and a secondary tropical peat swamp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia… Malaysia's online garden shop selling fertilisers, plant food, seeds, soil, planter box, pest control & outdoor living products. Alluvial soils are also known as fluvial soils or alluvium. Methane emission in pineapple cultivation is important as 90% of pineapples are grown on the peat soils of Malaysia. draining for agriculture) in one part of the dome could have cascading effects elsewhere. Peat covers approximately 8" of the land or about 3 million ha. are classified as Bog and Fen Peat. They are also soft as … Global production of palm oil continues to rise, but you are correct, future palm oil supplies cannot come from peatlands. Abang Johari stressed that Sarawak has to do it that way if it were to face any challenges ahead. In its introduction, these guidelines make the point that, “It is the prerogative of any government to develop its land resources for the socio-economic benefit of its people.” However, it does not then necessarily follow that these practices are, as stated previously, “scientifically sound and sustainable.”, A worker carries an oil palm sapling onto smoldering peatlands in the Indonesian province of Sumatra. In highly saturated anaerobic soils, … A high groundwater table management was designed to slow … https://blog.ucsusa.org/calen-may-tobin/peat-soils-in-sarawak-malaysia-435 That should be our way forward. Getting companies to commit to steps such as best management is truly only the first piece. Regarding the other 29%, the operative phrase is ‘best management practices to reduce carbon emissions and environmental damage.’ Getting Wilmart and other producers to really do that is a huge battle, to be sure.’ They will argue that ‘it costs too much.’ We should argue that we can pay for it now or pay, much more, for it later! Thanks for a concise summary of the situation in Malaysia regarding palm oil plantations, peat soil, etc. Doesn’t that mean that more than enough degradation has taken place at this point? However, these plantations must follow a certain set of best practices guidelines by the end of 2015. “I am impressed by your ability to draw members with common interest and built it up into a cohesive MPS for a common cause of safeguarding peat land resources and well-being of the people of Sarawak amidst the impeding challenges and demands of political, socio-economic and technical scientific knowledge of the external environment,” he said. As you may have seen, there has been a lot of news from the palm oil industry in recent months, with companies like Hershey’s, L’Oréal, Kellogg’s, and Unilever committing to source deforestation- and peat-free palm oil. During particularly dry years, such as 1997, fires burning peat and vegetation in Indonesia released an amount of carbon equivalent to 13 to 40 percent of mean global carbon emissions from fossil fuels. The only explicit guidance is that it is recommended that the “top part of the peat dome be not developed, but kept as a high conservation value forest and water catchment area.” This shows a lack of understanding of the hydrology of peat domes. Around 71 percent of oil palm plantations in Sarawak are located on non-peat soils, so Wilmar can continue to source from those plantations. Calen May-Tobin, was a lead analyst with the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative, conducting research on palm-related deforestation and how to reduce the land-use carbon footprint of the palm oil industry. ha - Some are successfully developed for short term crops, pineapples and oil palm Main issues - Less peat swamp forest - Over drained, subsidence - Fire (newly developed area) Development on acid sulfate soil He has published more than 100 research articles on the topic. Peat soils are classified as histosols. The MPOB guidelines also allow for controlled fires. What a Relief! With some money from Petronas of course we will allocate for research,” he said. “Our objective is not only for Sarawak, not only for Malaysia. “Do further research and try to convince the world that carbon emissions is not only because of peat. Peat soils in their natural state are wet with very high water table near to the soil surface. archive.wetlands.org Is currently undergoing maintenance. Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world. However, major … With so few intact or only slightly degraded peatlands, it is critical that we prioritize protection of these lands. Abang Johari also pointed out that it is unavoidable to build roads, bridges and settlements on peat and that the people also have to survive. While intact peatlands also emit carbon dioxide, it has been shown that disturbed peatlands lose carbon not only from the upper levels of soil and from plant growth, but also the carbon that has been stored in the soil for centuries. Tropical peat is formed when vegetation, such as dead branches or leaves, does not decompose fully, storing carbon in dead organic matter. 14. One of the most vocal groups concerned with these new policies is the Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owner’s Association (SOPPOA), which represents oil palm plantation owners in the Malaysian state on the island of Borneo. As organic material decays, the embodied carbon, much of which has been building for thousands of years, is released as carbon dioxide. Soil Science Conference of Malaysia (SOILS 2019): Sustainable Soil Management and Conservation, 16-18 April 2019, Malacca, Malaysia. This research was conducted from November, 2007 to February, 2008. Ask a Scientist: What Must the Biden Administration Do to Protect Federal Science? Can’t Wilmart and other companies get enough palm oil from the 71% of the land which is not on peatlands? However, drained tropical peat soils are extremely flammable and in the past have gotten out of control, causing fires that have raged for months, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere and causing health concerns. Tags: Malaysia, Palm Oil, peat, Sarawak, Tropical deforestation. Radiah Othman, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Head of Land Management Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia. Sarawak. To contribute to the comments and general discussion here, I’d like to draw your attention to a paper published this week on ‘Research agendas for the sustainable management of tropical peatland in Malaysia’ (available for download here: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/92219/). Some of the issues you raise resonate with the stakeholders engaged in this particular exercise. And many studies (like this one) have shown that planting oil palm on peat soils leads to carbon dioxide emissions. Field investigation: For laboratory investigation, peat soil was sampled from the Klang, Peninsular, West Malaysia. Malaysia … Peatland with an area totaling approximately 2.6 million hectares is considered a problematic soil in Malaysia, but has potential for oil palm cultivation. … Information on methane emission in pineapple cultivation on peatlands is scarce. Let MPS, with Sarawak as a backbone, convince the world that peat is useful in economic development. 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