Enabling Microfinancing for Paludiculture in Peatland Areas

Officially opened by Vikalp Sabhlok, Sustainable Landscape Investment Specialist, and Marcel Silvius, Indonesia Country Representative, GGGI held a roundtable discussion on “Enabling Microfinance for Paludiculture in Peatlands” on October 15 at Aston Rasuna Jakarta to gain understanding of the potential of paludiculture commodities for business-based peatlands restoration and the required potential microfinance schemes/mechanisms that may be required for sustainable enterprise creation around such commodities.

The event featured Alue Dohong, Deputy II – Construction, Operations & Maintenance of Peatland Restoration Agency and Andi Ikhwan, Director of Agriculture & Financial Inclusion of Mercy Corps Indonesia, sharing their knowledge on business-based peatland restoration & agricultural financing models respectively. The discussion revealed that by some estimates there is a requirement of more than USD 1.7 billion for restoring and revitalizing peatland areas in the BRG’s priority peatlands areas itself.

It is crucial for peatland sustainability to include local communities in the maintenance of peatland. One approach that communities could adopt to sustain the peatlands and earn a livelihood is through paludiculture based enterprise creation. Paludiculture is wet agriculture and forestry on peatlands, combining the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from drained peatlands through rewetting with continued land use and biomass production under wet conditions. Paludiculture also involves the economic use of species cultivated on rehabilitated peat. Additional financing would be required to effectively create such inclusive enterprise development to ensure the communities can benefit from such economic growth. And micro-financing is one possible mechanism to support such a green growth scenario amongst the community and in the peatland areas in Indonesia.