Let’s start by defining ‘peat; using your own interpretation. As written in the community board of this 24-hours festival, some people describe peat as space without binaries, with flexible limits and blended perceptions. It is also the between-space where past, present, and future meet. Where rigidity is overwhelmed by creativity. An interdisciplinary reality where we celebrate the versatility of peatlands. This various exposition of peat is only expanding during the journey of this event.
On May 29th, a youth-led group called RE-PEAT organized ‘Peat Fest’ – the original and only 24-hour online festival completely dedicated to peat. On its second occasion, the event spans a whole day (midnight to midnight BST, British Summer Time) also to commemorate World Peatlands Day (June 2nd).
In line with their core, RE-PEAT wants people joining Peat Fest to exchange ideas, co-create knowledge and learn from each other. Noyara represented TJF to fill in one of the sessions. She discussed carbon balance in peatland using a study case researched by TJF team earlier this year.
Peatland is one of the largest terrestrial carbon storage, it stores 6x more carbon than upland tropical forests. Thus, peatland is originally is a carbon sink. However, under unfortunate circumstances, peatland can be a carbon source – especially when you heard peat fires on the news. The cause of this is often unsustainable utilization of peatland. Some agriculture practice is also responsible for this damage.
Still, there is hope! Peatland agriculture can be made sustainable, as found in our study case. A coconut plantation in Pulau Burung has more carbon sequestration than emission – making it carbon positive. While water management is a vital factor, there are other things to consider. It leads to alive and interactive discussion with the session participants. Peat Fest finished successfully with involvement of worldwide parties.
On another note, TJF will also have its Peat Party to celebrate this land. You can have some fun in the fruitful activities while supporting peatland uniqueness.