Action: Provide education or training programmes about peatlands or peatland management
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- Two studies evaluated the effects of peatland education/training programmes on knowledge, behaviour, peatland habitats or peatland vegetation. Both studies were in tropical peat swamps.
- Behaviour change (2 studies): One study in peat swamps in Indonesia reported that over 3,500 households adopted sustainable farming practices following workshops about sustainable farming. One before-and-after study in peat swamps in Indonesia reported that a training course on rubber farming increased the quality of rubber produced by local farmers.
This section considers the effects of education programmes, training courses or workshops, generally aimed at people who manage peatlands (landowners, land managers, local people). They may be about peatlands in general (e.g. their wildlife, their value to humans) or about management techniques (including sustainable land use practices). They may be specifically about peatland vegetation or about broader aspects of peatland ecosystems.
As an example, the ‘Bogathon’ and ‘Sphagathon’ programmes in the UK involved a range of land managers (from private estates, landowner organizations, conservation organizations and water companies) in discussions about the most desirable state for upland bogs and how to achieve it (BASC n.d.). In tropical peat swamps, blocking drainage canals can ultimately reduce fire risk, restore forest and create aquaculture ponds. Discussions with local people may alleviate concerns over the immediate loss of transport routes and ensure the blockages remain in place (Page et al. 2009).
Key peatland types for which this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: adopt voluntary agreements or pay landowners to protect peatlands, because these schemes are often linked with education or training; allow sustainable use of peatlands, possibly supported by education/training programmes.
BASC (n.d.) Grouse shooting and management in the United Kingdom: its value and role in the provision of ecosystem services. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation.
Page S., Hosciło, A., Wösten H., Jauhiainen J., Silvius M., Rieley J., Ritzema H., Tansey K., Graham L., Vasander H. & Limin S. (2009) Restoration ecology of lowland tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia: current knowledge and future research directions. Ecosystems, 12, 888–905.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2008 in peat swamps in Indonesia (CKPP 2008) reported that workshops with local people encouraged 3,540 households to adopt sustainable farming practices. The study suggests this is a result of changed attitudes towards sustainable farming (but this was not quantified). Workshops were held to identify agricultural and aquacultural practices suited to the local environment but with minimal negative (or even positive) environmental impacts. The workshops involved farmers, government officials, non-governmental organizations, state research institutions and academics.
A before-and-after study in 2010–2013 in peat swamps in Indonesia (KFCP 2014) reported that training local rubber farmers increased the quality of the rubber they produced. No statistical tests were carried out. Once the training was completed, farmers were able to produce rubber with 53% dry rubber content, compared to 45% before the course began. Dry rubber content is a measure of quality, and the higher quality rubber produced after the course fetched higher prices. Between 2010 and 2013, farmers in seven villages received training in rubber farming techniques and economics. The aim was to change the farmers’ knowledge and behaviour, so they produced higher quality rubber, made more money from their existing plantations and had less incentive to cultivate remaining peat swamp forests. Details of the rubber quality measurements were not reported.
- CKPP . (2008) Provisional Report of the Central Kalimantan Peatland Project.
- KFCP . (2014) Practical Lessons from the Field: A Synthesis of Eight Lessons Learned Papers from the KFCP REDD+ Demonstration Activity. Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership report. Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership.