Progress of paludiculture projects in supporting peatland ecosystem restoration in Indonesia

Ibnu Budiman*, Bastoni, Eli N.N. Sari, Etik E. Hadi, Asmaliyah, Hengki Siahaan, Rizky Januar, Rahmah Devi Hapsari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable peatland management practices such as paludiculture are crucial for restoring degraded peatland ecosystems. Paludiculture involves wet cultivation practices in peatland and can maintain peat bodies and sustaining ecosystem services. However, information about paludiculture effects on tropical peatlands is limited in the literature. Therefore, this study aimed to analyse the effectiveness and progress of paludiculture projects in supporting peatland ecosystem restoration in Indonesia that uses approaches of soil rewetting, revegetation of peat soil/forest, and the revitalisation of rural livelihoods around peatlands. We obtained qualitative and quantitative data from field measurements, observations, document reviews, spatial data from open-source web applications, and interviews with key stakeholders in two projects (agri-silviculture and agro-sylvofishery) that adapt paludiculture principles to Indonesia's South Sumatra Province. We found that the limited use of paludiculture principles in both projects has a different contribution to peatland restoration. The agri-silviculture project has been utilising jelutung (Dyera polyphylla), ramin (Gonystylus bancanus), and balangeran (Shorea balangeran) for (forest) revegetation. These species are 3 of the 534 paludiculture species that are adaptive to peat soils and tolerant to acidic conditions and inundation. The revegetation resulted in effective results that supported peatland restoration despite the delayed application of rewetting activities in the initial phase of the project. Additionally, in the agro-sylvofishery project, trade-offs between soil rewetting to maintain high peat water tables and the need to provide short-term economic benefits for local communities through horticulture and fishery practices were noted. During the 2019 El Niño, the involvement of a closed-loop canal to support fishery practices appeared to contribute to affecting the water table, which was also influenced by the open canals dug in nearby palm oil plantations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01084
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Indonesia
  • Paludiculture
  • Peatland restoration
  • Trade-off
  • Tropical peatland


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