Peat is an organic soil with special management concerns. Physical changes to the landscape (eg. forest clearance or drainage canals) alter the natural dynamics of the water regime and degrade fragile peat soils. Water is the most important element in the conservation of peat deposits. Rainfall is the only water supply to peat lands, whereas drainage and evapotranspiration remove water. It seems like a simple equation to manage, but the difficulties lie in the complexity of hydrological processes.
The peat swamps are waterlogged for most of the year. To make land suitable for agriculture, the water table has to be lowered and maintained at specific heights depending on the crop cultivated. Therefore, water management strategies directed towards reducing negative impacts on the Klias Forest Reserve are also sound practices for the management of neighbouring drainage schemes.
This publication was first produced by Wild Asia in 2005 for the Malaysian Peat Swamp Forest Conservation Project. Contact Us if you would like to purchase a high-resolution copy of the publication. This will be a nominal fee to cover the cost of reproducing the material on DVD, postage and handling charges.