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Trees
Why Peatlands?

It's simple... Restoring our peatlands is good for humans and planetary health. Protecting them helps in the fight against haze and climate change.

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Peatlands cover only 3% of the earth's surface, yet they contain three times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. 
What exactly are peatlands?

Peat forests are natural swampy areas and are considered a type of wetland. Peat consists of fallen trees, plants, branches and leaves and other carbon matter that have built up in waterlogged conditions for millennia. When it rains, peat absorbs and retains the water, stopping the decomposition process and locking in the carbon stored in these peatlands. 

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What is the issue?

Almost one-fifth of peatlands in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia are used for the industrial agriculture of oil palm and pulpwood. This results in the drainage and clearance of peatlands increasing the risks of fires and haze occurrences.

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Our Planet

 

Peatland degradation increases fire risks and carbon emissions, accelerating climate change. Peatland fires can create up to 10 times more smoke than regular forest fires. A single hectare of degraded peatlands emits 16.515 MT of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to driving 3 passenger cars for an entire year. 

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Our Health

 

When peatlands are damaged, the risk of fires increases, thus the occurrence of haze in our region becomes more likely. Elevated haze conditions increase hospital admissions of individuals with pre-existing conditions. Considering how 1 in 5 children in Singapore has asthma, preventing haze helps to protect our children's health.

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Our Pockets

Haze as a result from peatland degradation increases social and economic risks. Most recently in 2019, eateries in Singapore saw a drop of up to 90% patronage during haze episodes. In 2015, haze cost Singapore S$1.83 billion or S$463 per resident. 

How can you help?
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Degradation of peatlands for agricultural use is one of the major factors of haze. Sustainable agricultural certification associations like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) have a "no new plantings on peat" policy that ensure that peatlands are protected. Choosing consumer goods that use sustainable palm oil is one way to ensure these peatland ecosystems are protected.

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We collaborate with local NGO, Ekonomi Kreatif Andalan (EKA) to rewet and revegetate degraded peatlands in Sungai Tohor. Established in 2019, our peatland restoration programme focuses on science-based methods that are simplified for local communities. The programme provides incentives and capacity building through peatland restoration also helps to revitalise the local community. Donate now to support our peatland restoration efforts!

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We conduct talks and workshops for schools and workplaces. If you are looking to enhance your current environmental education efforts, get in touch with us or download our toolkit below. We also partner with businesses and institutes of higher learning to support their sustainability goals.

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