Mapping peat depth with locals

Process of the peat depth survey (left to right): ArcGIS data collector used during the survey; Fire Care Community (MPA) members performing peat depth measurements; CIFOR team facilitating the peat depth survey.

Since the reflection and planning phase of the project, CIFOR has been working with Fire Care Community (MPA) members and the local government to produce an up-to-date, accurate and detailed map of peat depth for Dompas village. Beginning in September 2018, we trained local government officials and the Fire Care Community group to survey for peat depth. We started the process by explaining the preliminary findings of the peat survey, and discussed possible restoration activities and approaches. We emphasized the importance of updating the peat depth map, and gave a step-by-step process for peat depth surveying. We facilitated knowledge and skill transmission by intensively guiding local government officials and the Fire Care Community group throughout the process. We used an ArcGIS data collector during the survey. We were able to observe and assess 39 sites across areas in Dompas with peat depths ranging from 0.50 cm to 800 cm. We took samples of peat soil for further analysis, sending these to a soil laboratory for bulk density and carbon content analysis. Following the survey, we were able to produce an up-to-date map of peat depth in Dompas village and a digital elevation model for our ‘action arenas’ (example plots).

Peat depth map of Dompas village

One example of a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) produced for ‘action arena 5’ (private land owned by a farming family)