Bunge Loders Croklaan continues working with its suppliers to ensure they become compliant with “No new Development on peatlands regardless of depth and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP) for existing plantations on peat”.
The objective of the peat roadshows is to provide step-by-step support and BMP for existing plantations on peat to all FFB suppliers by leveraging the existing relationship between growers & miller. The second peat roadshow was attended by growers from three estates in the region. These estates employ a combined 1,300 local workers from neighboring communities. Plantation management was open to receive support and the training proved to be successful.
Global Environment Center (GEC), a leading peat expert, conducted the “in-field learning”. Using a Dutch Augur, GEC’s team demonstrated the depth of peat found in each estate and the various degrees of peat decomposition. Organic material within peatlands is unable to decompose due to acidity of peat water and low oxygen levels. Once peatlands are drained and exposed to oxygen, decomposition begins. Damaged peatlands result in land degradation, higher CO2 emissions and an increased fire risk.
GEC emphasized the importance of water management for existing plantations on peat. They gave recommendations and alternatives for existing water structures to ensure a good water table.
The recommendations from the peat roadshow serve to reduce off-site impacts to the environmentally sensitive and High Conservation Value areas, such as the Setiu Wetlands in the Terengganu region. This area is unique because of its nine interconnected ecosystems, which support a rich biodiversity. Managing the landscape challenges to balance conservation of environmentally sensitive areas and agribusiness concerns remains a multi stakeholder process.