Indonesian Peat Prize Announces 1 Million US Dollar Competition Winner: International Peat Mapping Team: Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH (RSS), Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), and Sriwijaya University
Jakarta, February 2, 2018 – The Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), today coincides with World Wetland Day, announces the International Peat Mapping Team , which consists of scientists from Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH (RSS), Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) , and Sriwijaya University, as winners of the $ 1 million Indonesian Peat Prize competition . The two-year competition aims to find the best method to map the extent and thickness of peatlands, followed by 44 participating teams that include leading experts on peat and mapping. The Scientific Advisory Board (scientists and experts assessing the application of participants) decides that the teamInternational Peat Mapping managed to offer a method that is relatively the most accurate, affordable, and timely to map peatlands. The Indonesian government will use winning methods to protect and manage peatlands, accelerate peat restoration, and support Indonesia’s development goals.
Team International Peat Mappingcombines satellite-based technology, LiDAR, and field measurements, resulting in accurate, fast, and affordable peat mapping methods. The team applies a product called WorldDEM that uses satellite imagery to create a 10 meter surface model of the earth, as well as Sentinel satellite images. The team combines this satellite-based technology with an Earth-surface model generated from LiDAR (a technology that uses laser light to create 3-dimensional earth maps) that are flown by plane. The team’s methodology also includes field measurements to produce models that can measure peat thickness accurately. The team also conducted field verification of the peat data generated with the various technologies. Team members include mapping experts and peatlands from Indonesia, Germany, and the Netherlands: Prof. Dr. Florian Siegert, Dr. Uwe Ballhorn, Peter Navratil, Prof. Dr. Hans Joosten, Dr. Muh. Bambang Prayitno, Dr. Bambang Setiadi, Felicitas von Poncet, Suroso and Dr. Solichin Manuri.
“BIG is pleased and proud that this competition has resulted in the best method of mapping peatlands that combines timeliness, cost, and accuracy to support BIG tasks in mapping and providing geospatial data and information. BIG will lead the process to utilize winning methods as the main reference for improving the Indonesian National Standard for peat mapping of 1: 50,000 scale, and will begin the process by issuing BIG Head regulations on peat mapping at 1: 50,000 scale. By making the method as a standard, we will obtain a peat map along with its spatial data and information as a means of protecting peatlands more effectively and efficiently, “said BIG Head, Prof. Dr. Hasanuddin Z. Abidin.
The Indonesian Peat Prize was initiated by BIG to respond to the lack of accuracy, lack of accuracy, and the lack of peat data and information in Indonesia. Peat, vegetation layers and thick, damp soils buried for thousands of years, can be found in many tropical ecosystems and Indonesia is home to the world’s largest peat swamp forests. Peatlands are very rich in carbon and biodiversity, but they are often drained or burned to convert into agricultural land and plantations.
Peat is a great source of carbon emissions when burned or decomposed. By 2015, peatlands contribute to about 42 percent of Indonesia’s emissions . Forest and peatland fires that occurred in the same year , also resulted in approximately 100,000 premature deaths , causing economic losses reached 221 trillion rupiah , as well as the release of 1.62 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases , equivalent to the emissions of 350,000 vehicles were issued throughout the year.
Measurement of depth, or thickness, of peatlands is very important. The thicker the peat layer, the more severe the ecological impacts caused by peat disruption, including carbon emissions. Uncertainty about the data and information on peat have hampered efforts to protect and restore peatlands and created a space for those who are not responsible for the continued conversion of peatlands, which often causes dryness of the peat and the onset of fire.
“We are excited to emerge as winners of the Indonesian Peat Prize Our team has been conducting research on tropical peatlands since the early 1990s, and we have a long track record in supporting peatland conservation and restoration projects We are ready to support scientific research and cooperation between the universities in Indonesia and Germany and the government to implement and further develop our methods to manage, protect and restore peatlands in Indonesia and around the world, “said Dr. Florian Siegert , representative of the International Peat Mapping team .
Dr. Bambang Setiadi , a member of the International Peat Mapping team from BPPT, stated that research shows, when ground water levels in tropical peat swamp forests are in low position in the dry season, peat will be more vulnerable to fires. “This methodology will support the acquisition of topographic elevation data for peatlands, including peat dome, which can be used to understand groundwater levels and other hydrological assessments for restoration purposes.”
The Indonesian Peat Prize not only represents a breakthrough solution for Indonesia, but also provides a way for communities around the world to work together to improve peatland governance and conservation. Indonesian Peat Prize was led by the Indonesian government, with support from the Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard, experts peat and mappings that are members of the Advisory Council of Scientific who acted as judges , as well as the technical team comes from BIG, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. WRI Indonesia is an implementing partner of the Indonesian Peat Prize .
“The winning team method demonstrates a technological breakthrough, produced in a transparent way to map peatlands accurately, affordably, and on time. The Indonesian Peat Prize also represents international collaboration and attention to reaching global targets to limit the rise in the earth’s temperature to below two degrees Celsius, ” said Dr. David Schimel , co-chair of the Senior Scientific Advisory and Scientific Research Council at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The Indonesian Peat Prize complements the Government of Indonesia’s initiative to protect peatlands and improve the welfare of the people. President Joko Widodo has made peatland management a priority for achieving Indonesia’s climate commitment in the Paris Treaty. The Peat Prize also supports a Government Map One Policy, which aims to consolidate spatial information in a common p latform.
Co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Peat Society Prof. Dr. Supiandi Sabiham stated, “The Scientific Advisory Board highly appreciates the work of the finalists in developing methods to map and protect peatlands, which is essential to accomplish to meet Indonesia’s climate commitments. Managing peatlands sustainably and responsibly should take precedence, and to achieve these objectives, the Indonesian Peat Prize plays a huge role, “he said.
The methods proposed by the finalists include a combination of renowned and innovative technologies, including remote sensing techniques with aircraft such as laser-based altimetry, electromagnetic imaging, and interferometry using radar and field measurements. There are similarities between the methods proposed by the finalists, and the Scientific Advisory Board makes a winner’s decision based on differences in methodology accuracy, cost, and speed in mapping the peat. For more information, visit http://www.indonesianpeatprize.net/ .
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Geospatial Information Agency (BIG)
The Geospatial Information Agency was originally established in 1969 under the name of the National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping (Bakosurtanal), and then with the issuance of Law No. 4 of 2011 on Geospatial Information was renamed to Geographical Information Agency (BIG) in 2011. BIG is a non- Indonesia who is in charge of organizing and managing geospatial information in Indonesia both basic and thematic geospatial information, to support the needs of various development sectors as well as the needs of society, nation and country in general. More information about BIG please visit www. big .go.id .