Project in Indonesia

Indonesia Project


Peat swamp forests are one of the most important peatland ecosystems because these ecosystems consist of the carbon-water complex, which is affected by the impact of human and climate change. Peat swamp forests form in areas where saturated soils or frequent flooding prevent organic material from fully decomposing. When a forest is cut down, the loss of above-ground carbon is obvious. However, less obvious is that 90 percent of a peat swamp forest’s carbon is stored below ground. As the accumulation of so much organic material means tropical peat swamp forests store a lot of carbon: up to 10 to 20 times more carbon than nearby lowland forests on mineral soil that depends of the depth of soil and age of forest. Indonesia contains 47% of the global area of tropical peatland (Page et al., 2011) mostly as extensive domes of woody peat, supporting peat-swamp forests that covers vast areas of lowland landscape between major rivers.

Project Objectives

  1. To establish demonstration plots of native tropical peat swamp forests inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi for the benefits of the tree growing and communities
  2. To disseminate restoration technology based on utilization of mycorrhizal fungi in degraded tropical peat-swamp forests.
  3. To measure the carbon stock for supporting the impact of the application of mycorrhizae in reforestation.

Project Highlight

Mycorrhizal fungi associated with plant roots increase the absorption of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, and thus enhance the growth of trees. By this reason, the technology to use mycorrhizal fungi is a noval and effective method in reforestation. The mycorrhizal fungi for inoculation including AMF (Gigaspora sp., Entrophospora sp., and Acaulospora sp.) and ECM (Chantharellus sp., Boletus sp., Amanita sp., and Scleroderma sinamariense). The species of tree seedings we used are Melaleuca leucadendron, Combretocarpus rotundatus, Dyera polyphylla, Shorea balangeran and Alstonia pneumatophora. Besides, we make the seedings containers by organic material, such as bamboo, purun and rumbia, which are biodegradable without pollution.

In addition, we have set up the carbon sink measurement in the revegetation area. We are measuring the carbon sink in every year in order to find out the positive effect of the reforestation process in carbon sequestration.

Principle Investigator 

One of the project team members is Dr. Ir. Maman Turjaman (shown in the photo) who is a senior scientist and a well-known mycologist with experienced in Mycorrhizal Research in Peatlands in Indonesia.

10 hectare project site ( including 6 hectare of ex oil palm plantation) in Palembang, South Sumatra

10 hectare project site in Central Kalimantan

carbon calculation before planting (photos were taken on November and December 2018)

Project details and update

Description Location of TMI Project in two sites

  • Tumbang Nusa (Central Kalimatan)

The location for TMI project is located Tumbang Nusa Forest research station (KHDTK), peat swamps forest, Jabiren Raya Sub-District, Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan Province. The Tumbang Nusa KHDTK has an area of around 5000 ha which is managed by the Forestry Research Institute of Banjarbaru, Forestry Research, Development, and Innovation Agency, Ministry of Environment and Forestry based on the Decree Minister of Forestry No. 76 / Menhut-II / 2004, March 31, 2005.  Tumbang Nusa KHDTK is geographically located at 02 ° 18’37-02 ° 22’34 LS and 114 ° 02’48 – 114 ° 06’46 BT. The biophysical conditions of the area are in form of peat swamps with a relatively flat topography, at altitude of 0-5 meters above sea level and elevation of 0% -18%. Having a humid tropical climate, (climate type A), the average temperature is 27oC (21-36oC) with an average rainfall of 1998-2012 which is 3383 mm/year, where dry months occur between July and September (1997 – 2012). It is a secondary swamp forest with vegetation covers dominated by dense natural generation of tumih (Combretocarpus rotundatus) and several species of peat swamp trees (ramin, belangeran, meranti rawa, punak, nyatoh, bintangur, jelutung, pulai). Surrounding the Tumbang Nusa KHDTK, some of fauna species still can be found, such as Pongo pygmaeus, Hypothymis azurea, Ceyx rufidorsa, and other species.

The following figure shows the dominant vegetation cover in the measuring plot:

Since 2015 (After big fire), revegetation activities were conducted by voluntary and non-voluntary. Revegetation activities by voluntary have planted more than 25,000 seedling with 1,700 participants. Furthermore, non-voluntary activities focused on research and development supported by several national and international funding. One of the funding is from The Mushroom Initiative), the Application of Mycorrhizal Fungi For Restoration Ecosystem Of Degraded Tropical Peat Swamp Forests In Indonesia, 100 Ha (2018-2023)

In the future, we hope that Tumbang Nusa KHDTK could be used as science Edu-park related to rehabilitation technology of peat forest with 3 R approach (Restoration, Rewetting, Revitalization). This area will be separated became 3 zone. Zone 1 is tourism zona, representing entry gate, laboratory, information center, guest house and other tourism facilities. Zone 2 is education zone, including genetic resources, revegetation and reforestation zone. Zone 3 is voluntary and ceremonial plantation. Our project is promoted as a demonstration site of restoration ecosystem of degraded tropical peat swamp forests by using mycorrhizal fungi.

  • Pedamaran Limited Production Forest (South Sumatra)

Pedamaran Limited Production Forest (LPF) has a total area of ​​10,021 hectares which is administratively located in 3 districts, namely Pedamaran District, Pedamaran Timur District and Pampangan District OKI Regency, South Sumatra. Access to the location can be taken approximately 2-3 hours from Palembang, or 45 minutes from the City of Kayuagung. At present the forest area is managed by the Forest Management Unit (FMU) Region V Lempuing Mesuji, the Forest Service Office of South Sumatra Province.

The Pedamaran LPT area is included in the formation of peat swamp forests located in the River Hydrological Unit (RHU) of Burnai – Sibumbung River with an average peat depth of more than 3 meters. According to the management unit, it is divided into 4 blocks, namely the Special Block, the Utilization Block of Environmental Services and NTFPs, the Protection Block and the Community Empowerment Block. The total area of ​​the Special Block is 166.77 hectares. The location of the pilot restoration model in HPT Pedamaran in collaboration between the Forest Research Center Development (FRDC) and The Mushroom Initiative (TMI) is located within the special block with an allocation of 100 hectares of land according to the attached map. Revegetation activities in these areas will be carried out in stages, namely 10 hectares in 2019, 45 hectares in 2020 and 45 hectares in 2021.

The location of the P3H-TMI Peatland Restoration Pilot Model is a former fire area in 2015 that needs to be remedied. There is no forest fire accident in 2019.  The condition of peatlands 4 years after the fire is dominated by open land with natural succession of vegetation which can be divided into 2 groups, namely: (1) peatland with shallow water (<25 cm) at the peak of the rainy season, characterized by natural vegetation cover dominated by shrimp ferns (Stenochlaena palustris) and gelam (Melaleuca leucadendron) low density <500 stems / ha, (2) peatlands with moderate waterlogged (25 – 50 cm) at the peak of the rainy season are characterized by natural vegetation cover dominated by gelam (low density) Melaleuca leucadendron) high density (> 500 stems) and shrimp fern (Stenochlaena palustris) as attached.

The following figures show the natural succession conditions in plot restoration area in Pedamaran LPF, South Sumatra; (a) shrimp ferns (Stenochlaena palustris) and (b) gelam (Melaleuca leucadendron):

Diversified species of trees to be planted including:

In Central Kalimantan

1. Balangeran (Shorea balangeran)

2. Galam (Melaleuca cajuputi)

3. Merapat (Combretocarpus rotundatus)

4. Pelawan merah (Tristaniopsis marguensis)

5. Papung (Sarcotheca diversifolia)

6. Meranti rawa  (Shorea teysmanniana)

7. Pulai (Alstonia pneumatophora)

8. Jelutung (Dyera polyphyla)

9. Punak (Tetramerista glabra)

10. Gerunggang ( Cratoxylum glaucum)

In South Sumatra

1. Balangeran (Shorea balangeran)

2. Galam (Melaleuca cajuputi)

3. Merapat (Combretocarpus rotundatus)

4. Pelawan merah (Tristaniopsis marguensis)

5. Kranji (Indum dialum)

6. Meranti rawa  (Shorea teysmanniana)

7. Pulai (Alstonia pneumatophora)

8. Jelutung (Dyera polyphyla)

9. Beriang (Ploiarium alternifolium)

10. Gerunggang ( Cratoxylum glaucum)

More native species will be identified in both sites and added from time to time.

Collaboration partner in Indonesia

Forest Research and Development Centre (FRDC), is one of four centres under Research, Development & Innovation Agency under Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesia.

Support TMI

Conservation work

The mushroom Initiative (TMI)

TMI is a registered charity in Hong Kong with a donation of HK$100 and can apply for tax relief

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