The Kampar Peninsula in Sumatra is one of the largest areas of its kind in Southeast Asia, with a rich biodiversity and high carbon stocks.
As part of its role, RER’s partner, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) conducts extensive field surveys in three of the RER concession areas on the Kampar Peninsula. The surveys are carried out within a framework of climate, community and biodiversity assessment. Surveying carbon stocks is part of this activity. Survey work determines both the level of carbon above and below the ground in peatland soil, to better understand the potential for managing carbon emissions.
The carbon stock survey was commissioned to determine both the level of carbon above and below the ground. Peat samples were analysed for carbon content by an independent laboratory. Remote sensing was employed to identify the land cover classes from satellite images and to model the peat depth distribution. Based on the analysis, FFI calculated that 98% of the total carbon content of the forest and peat soil is found below ground in the peat soil.
The research was particularly important, in light of the fact that Indonesia holds the largest stock of peat carbon in tropical countries, and the Kampar Peninsula is estimated to contain approximately 2.8-4.6% of the country’s estimated below ground carbon pool (Deltares, 2015).
The report stated that 70% of the RER ecosystem restoration concessions (ERCs) located in Kampar Peninsula holds as much as 688,872,434 tonnes of carbon or 2.5 Giga tonnes of CO2. However, further assessment is needed to estimate the potential emission reduction in the RER area.
RER in conjunction with APRIL and the Independent Peat Expert Working Group IPEWG), is collecting research data on carbon emissions and sequestration rates inside the RER. This is part of a broader project that measures carbon emission and sequestration rates across different landscape types, including conservation forest and ecosystem restoration areas.
APRIL has deployed three state-of-the-art Eddy Covariance Flux towers in three different peatland ecosystems, measuring the change in greenhouse gas levels – or the flux – daily over a 200-hectare ecosystem footprint. One of these towers is located in the PT. Gemilang Cipta Nusantara (GCN) concession in Kampar Peninsula where it has been collecting greenhouse gases (GHGs) flux data using eddy covariance technique since May 2017.
This technique measures carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and water vapor (H2O) fluxes from a 48-metres height tower as well as automated soil CO2 chamber for microbial respiration every 30 minutes. After which, the data collected from this site is expected to help provide a better understanding of GHGs dynamics at ecosystem scale from undisturbed or conservation areas. This technology is well-accepted among the scientific community, delivering direct, high frequency and ecosystem-scale measurement that establishes GHG emission factors for different management interventions across a landscape.
The project also measures the net balance of carbon removals and emissions using the Eddy Variance Technique which measures the levels of soil respiration and ecosystem respiration as emissions into the atmosphere against their removal from atmosphere, also called sequestration. The result is a ‘net ecosystem CO2 exchange’ that will determine whether an area of peatland is a carbon source or a carbon sink.