A survey of ASEAN instruments relating to peatlands, mangroves and other wetlands: The REDD+ context

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Kheng-Lian Koh


Since the 13th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in November 2007, held in Singapore, ASEAN has accelerated its response to climate change issues, including REDD+ as a mechanism for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to enhance conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. There are many wetlands in ASEAN including more than 25 million ha of peatlands spread over Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam and Lao PDR. The peatlands account for 60 per cent of global tropical peatland resources. They are of significance for sequestration of carbon. However, degraded wetlands, including peatlands, are also a major source of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Of the types of wetlands, ASEAN has focused attention predominantly on peatlands in relation to REDD+, mainly because of the ‘Indonesian Haze’.

The Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL) organised a Workshop titled, REDD+ and Legal Regimes of Mangroves, Peatland and Other Wetlands: ASEAN and the World, in Singapore from 15-16 November 2012. The articles contained in this special themed edition of the International Journal of Rural Law and Policy (IJRLP) contains a selection of the papers presented. This editorial will provide a brief background to some aspects of REDD+. Included in this issue of IJRLP is a summary of the proceedings of the workshop as interpreted by the assigned rapporteur and editors of APCEL. These summaries were reviewed and approved by the presenters.

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Author Biography

Kheng-Lian Koh, Faculty of Law National University of Singapore

Director, APCEL