Wetlands International and Permian Global have been working together in Indonesia to safeguard and restore carbon-rich wetlands since 2013, where a joint team of experts developed a new methodology for quantifying avoided carbon emissions in tropical peatlands.

The result is one of the world’s biggest Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) approved REDD+ project to conserve an intact peatswamp forest in Katingan-Mentaya, financed through Permian’s marketing of carbon credits. Before the project, the area was destined to be an industrial timber plantation, which would have contributed to huge greenhouse gas emissions as a result of forest clearance and drainage of the peat. Instead, the project is creating sustainable development opportunities for people and restoring valuable ecosystems and habitat for endangered wildlife, including as many as 4,000 orangutans.

With potential emission reductions reaching an average 7.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, we are showcasing how carbon financing can be an effective tool to deliver large-scale peatland conservation and restoration. In the future, we intend to double the area of impact to approximately 300,000 hectares to include the buffer zone with conservation and restoration measures, while enhancing local livelihoods.

We are drawing on our track record of engagement with communities to build capacity on the sustainable use of peatlands and develop land-use plans that create livelihood opportunities by stimulating farming with crops native to peatlands, such as Illipe nut (edible oil), Jelutung (natural rubber) and Rattan (for furniture).