Pantau Gambut 2019 Research Fellowship
The scarcity of research on Indonesian peatlands and the lack of attention to the importance of sustainable peatland management have encouraged Pantau Gambut to support innovation, studies, and research on peatlands by university students.
Since 2019, Pantau Gambut has collaborated with the University of Papua and Tanjungpura University to conduct research and studies on the topic of peat restoration in Indonesia under the Research Fellowship program. The following is research from three students participating in the first batch of Pantau Gambut Research Fellowship scholarships.
1. Lady Christine Sabatini Desiri Makmaker, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Class of 2018, University of Papua
Research title: Earthworms as Bioindicators of Peat Damage in Bintuni
Earthworms have been known as one of the decomposers that can break down organic matter. However, decomposition in peatlands is a process occurs very slowly due to the wet and anaerobic (no oxygen) environment. In addition, peatlands are also very acidic, so earthworms should not be present in peatlands. The presence of earthworms in peatlands indicates that the peat ecosystem is starting to become damaged. In her research, Lady observed the presence of earthworms in peatlands which can be a natural indicator of peat damage. The study was conducted in three ecosystems with varying conditions to identify peat damage through the distribution of earthworms.
2. Vera Maulidia, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Class of 2020, Tanjungpura University
Research title: Regeneration of Peat Forest in Burnt Peat Land Areas in Pasir Village and Sungai Pinyuh Village, Mempawah Regency, West Kalimantan
Vera studied the conditions of diverse pioneering vegetations that grow on burnt peatlands in Pasir Village, Mempawah District, West Kalimantan. Vera also compared the quality of water and soil across various land conditions, including burnt land, community plantation land, and primary peat forest.
3. Peggy Wahyu Astuti, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Class of 2020, Tanjungpura University
Research title: Peatland Ecosystem Protection Policy (Peatland Conversion) towards Environmental Resilience in the Kapuas River Watershed in Teluk Empening Village, Terentang Subdistrict, Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan.
Peggy researched the physical and chemical properties of soil and water in several locations with different land covers. From her research, Peggy proposes a number of recommendations on peat management using based on analysis of various land covers.
Read more about the results of the three studies here.