Strengthening regional experiences on sustainable peatland management (ASEAN-REPEAT)

Tropical peatlands are valuable ecosystems for animal and plant species, and are one of the most efficient types of natural land-based carbon sinks. However, peatland loss is increasing as a result of non-sustainable management and drainage. This project is financing successful approaches to sustainable peatland management and scaling these up regionally. The project is evaluating approaches in pilot areas in Indonesia and Malaysia in terms of their effectiveness and financial viability, and building on these results to develop specific financing schemes, business models and fiscal policy recommendations. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is being utilised to scale up the insights gained to the regional level and international negotiations. EU co-financing totalling EUR 14.6 million is being used to support regional programme management by ASEAN and implementation in ASEAN member countries.

Project data

Indonesia, Malaysia
IKI funding
4,000,000.00 €
06/2018 till 01/2025
Political Partner
  • Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Implementing Partner
  • ASEAN Secretariat
  • Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) - Indonesia
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) - Malaysia

State of implementation/results

    • The project has completed baseline studies at the pilot site in Aceh for land use (change) and burn area mapping, and conducted the socio-economic assessment of the selected pilot villages. The results were discussed with the partners and the annual work plan was adjusted. In some peat swamp areas of the target region, there is a need to work more with the private sector as there is a high proportion of oil palm plantations on the peat swamp areas. A special focus will be placed on gender issues in the implementation of the work plan.
    • ASEAN REPEAT is supporting two new projects in Malaysia with the Forestry Departments of Sabah (SFD) and Sarawak (FDS). The activities in Sarawak focus on biodiversity and participatory conservation of peat swamp forests in the Simunjan Forest Reserve, which is home to many endemic species, such as iconic proboscis monkeys found only in Borneo. The reserve is largely surrounded by oil palm plantations and is under heavy deforestation pressure. The project aims to work with local village communities to develop viable alternative economic options for sustaining livelihoods in line with the protection of the reserve.
    • The project in Klias Peninsula, Beaufort, Sabah, focuses on establishing an integrated forest fire monitoring and prevention system and raising awareness of peatlands and fire among local communities. -Another project with the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) aims to identify the economic value of Pahang's peat swamp forest ecosystems through inventory and enhance it through sustainable management.
    • The project is implemented by the Department of Freshwater Wetlands Conservation with a focus on peatland mapping and management, forest fire and emissions control measures, and local capacity building.
    Laos (PDR):
    • Jointly implemented by IUCN and the Department of Water Resources of Lao PDR, the project focuses on peatland survey in specific wetlands, improving the livelihoods of local village communities, and capacity building for site management. After a peatland mapping by remote sensing and a terrestrial inventory, some peatlands with a depth of up to 5 metres were identified for the first time in Laos. In support of the above project activities, a biodiversity survey was conducted by ASEAN REPEAT in the central and southern peatland areas. Another nationwide peatland mapping is planned for 2022 as part of the EU Copernicus programme.
  • The International Peatland Initiative was represented at COP 26 in Glasgow with a peatland pavilion; the project participated virtually in events together with ASEAN Peatland Partners and the BMZ-funded ProPeat project.
  • On 9 December 2021, ASEAN REPEAT hosted a well-attended online-seminar on Combating forest and peatland fires in Indonesia and Malaysia: from risk assessment to field action. This online seminar discussed how firefighting activities are organised on the ground in Indonesia and Malaysia.…
  • Mid-2023 the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (2023-2030) was adopted.
  • 109 participants from northern ASEAN member countries were trained in 1) peatland policy and governance, 2) peatland ecosystem management, and 3) peatland biodiversity assessment.
  • 84 participants from southern ASEAN member states shared their knowledge on peatland restoration at three events from February to May 2023 in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
  • Launch of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC THPC). To strengthen ASEAN-EU cooperation and operationalize the ACCTHPC, a study tour to European centers for forest and wildfire management was held in May 2023, followed by 28 participants from ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat attending a technical knowledge exchange on fire management in Jakarta on 27 June 2023.
  • Peatlands in Vietnam's U Min Ha National Park and Buffer Zone with a total area of 34,000 hectares were mapped and a digital terrain model was developed to assess peat dome structure in the area.
  • 45 participants from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, provincial and district level in Aceh were trained in the use of geographic information systems for peatland mapping.
  • 20 members of SUPA pilot communities were trained in raising tringona honeybees in Aceh, and 30 members were trained in organic fertilizer production.
  • 30 future members of the Aceh Fire Fighting Unit (Daops Manggala Agni) were trained in the theory and practice of using equipment and fighting forest and wildland fires in Aceh.
  • 40 residents of priority pilot villages in Ache province were trained in basic financial management and accounting.
  • The final draft of the Peat Ecosystem Protection and Management Plan (RPPEG) for Aceh Province has been developed and is ready for final approval.
  • Events:
    • 06.-09.02.2023 1st SUPA Sub-Regional Knowledge Exchange – Promotion of a Knowledge Sharing Mechanism on Peatland Restoration and Rehabilitation in Southern ASEAN Member States Workshop…,
    • 16.02.2023 National Seminar on Community Empowerment in Sustainable Peat Management, Aceh, Indonesia:…,…;
    • 20.-25.02.2023 Training for Aceh province’s forest firefighter personnel (Manggala Agni) in Meulaboh…;
    • 06.-09.03.2023 2nd Sub-Regional Knowledge Exchange – Promotion of a Knowledge Sharing Mechanism on Peatland Restoration and Rehabilitation in Southern AMS Workshop,…;
    • 27.03.2023 Third Task Force Meeting for the Development of the new APMS…;
    • 28.-29.03.2023 Workplan Presentation to the district government of Aceh Barat and Nagan Raya…;
    • 29.-31.03.2023 Training on Enhancing Peatland Policies and Governance for Northern ASEAN Member States…;
    • 04.-07.04.2023 Introducing Peatland Ecosystems and Sustainable Management in Pakse, Lao PDR…;
    • 18.05.2023 Six participants from Indonesia and Malaysia, sponsored by SUPA Component 1, attended the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference on 16-19 May 2023 in Porto, Portugal. They also presented about the challenges of forest and peat fire in ASEAN using examples from these 2 countries in a workshop at sideline of the conference on 18 May 2023.…;
    • 22.05.-01.06.2023 Study Tour and Technical Exchange on Forest and Land Fire - Management for Future Cooperation EU – ASEAN…,…;
    • 13.-16.06.2023 Biodiversity Assessment on Peatland for Northern ASEAN Countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam),…;
    • 22.-23.06.2023 Workshops and Focus Group Discussions for the finalization of the Aceh Peatland Ecosystem Protection and Management Plan (RPPEG) for the two SUPA pilot districts in Aceh: Aceh Barat and Nagan Raya…;
    • 27.06.2023 Follow Up Workshop on Forest and Land Fire Management for Future Cooperation of EU-ASEAN to Support Operationalisation of ACC THPC…;
    • 18.07.2023 Fifth Meeting of the Programme Steering Committee (PSC) for the Sustainable Use of Peatland and Haze Mitigation in ASEAN (SUPA)…;
    • 24.08.2023 Handover Ceremony of the Signed EA ACCTHPC (the establishment of ACCTHPC in Indonesia will be supported by SUPA Component 1)…;
    • 05.09.2023 Launch of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC THPC) in Indonesia, supported by SUPA Component 1,…,…
  • For more up-to-date information on SUPA/ASEAN REPEAT, visit the project's social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.

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