Methodology for Rewetting Drained Tropical Peatlands. Approved Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Methodology VM0027

S. Hoffer, Y. Laer, R. Navrátil, J.H.M. Wosten

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


The first methodology to address the rewetting of drained peatlands "Methodology for rewetting Drained Tropical Peatlands" has been approved by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program. As the methodology is the first of its kind, it will provide unique guidance for other projects that aim at rewetting tropical peatlands. The methodology has been developed by WWF Germany and WWF Indonesia with contributions from Remote Sensing Solutions, Alterra Wageningen, and Winrock International.
“Tropical peatlands represent a key carbon sink, yet far too often they are cleared and drained to make way for palm oil plantations, destroying valuable ecosystems while releasing enormous volumes of GHG emissions in the process,” said Jerry Seager, Chief Program Officer for the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). “This new methodology represents an exciting new opportunity to shift that paradigm, and we at the VCS look forward to seeing it in action.”
The methodology applies to project activities in which drained tropical peatlands are rewetted through the construction of permanent and/or temporary structures (such as dams) which hold back water in drainage waterways. The methodology quantifies the reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to decreased oxidation of soil organic material that occurs as a result of project activities. The quantification of emission reductions is based primarily on outputs from the Simulation of Groundwater (SIMGRO) model which estimates the water table depth based on a range of input parameters such as terrain characteristics, peat thickness and climate variables. The methodology is applicable to projects in Southeast Asia; specifically, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Papua New Guinea.
The methodology has been developed in order to validate the REDD+ demonstration activity taking place in the Sebangau National Park, located in Indonesia - Central Kalimantan. The Sebangau National Park is a large peat dome that rises between two rivers. Historically the peat dome was covered by dense lowland rainforest. Before the Sebangau forest became a National Park, it was production forest, and where illegal loggers created a network of canals dug into the peat surface that were used for floating the logs out of the peatland area. The objective of the project intervention is to restore the hydrological and ecological functions of the peat swamp forest through the construction of dams. As a result of hydrological restoration, significant emissions of CO2 from peatlands in the project area will be prevented. The project was initiated and is managed by the Ministry of Forestry Indonesia and WWF Indonesia.
The methodology passed successfully the VCS methodology approval process conducted by SCS and TÜV SÜD. For further information please refer to:
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Number of pages68
Editionversion 1.0
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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