Main image for Resilience of Coastal Peat Swamp Forests

Close up of a peat swamp forest region.

There are significant conservation challenges associated with the production of palm oil inside the highly biodiverse coast of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. Peat swamp forest is rich in carbon and biodiversity, but this ecosystem is rapidly disappearing due to human impact.

This project aims to determine how much these peat swamp forests have been disturbed in the past, what caused the disturbance, in particular focusing on anthropogenic drivers, and what evidence there is available in the thousands of years of accumulated peat to indicate how quickly the forest can recover from such impacts.

Results from this work will provide valuable information on the resilience of these coastal peat swamp forests, and assist with their sustainable management. Such information is vital for the conservation of these unique forests, especially in the face of expanding oil palm cultivation across much of the Southeast Asian region.