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Is Indonesian peatland loss a cautionary tale for Peru? A two-country comparison of the magnitude and causes of tropical peatland degradation

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Key messages

  • Indonesia and Peru harbor some of the largest lowland tropical peatland areas. Indonesian peatlands are subject to much greater anthropogenic activity than Peru's resulting in high GHG and particulate emissions.
  • We explored patterns of impact in both countries and compared predisposing factors. Impacts differ greatly among Indonesian regions and the Peruvian Amazon in the order: Sumatra > Kalimantan > Papua > Peru.
  • All impacts, except fire, are positively related to population density.
  • Current peatland integrity in Peru arises from a confluence of factors that has slowed development, with no absolute barriers protecting Peruvian peatlands from a similar fate to Indonesia's.
  • If the goal is to maintain the integrity of Peruvian peatlands, government policies recognizing unique peatland functions and sensitivities will be necessary.


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