Peat land somehow contributes to the greenhouse gasses as it results some kind of emission gasses to the air. Peat land made by the accumulation of organic matter in saturated land with slow decomposition process, in soil taxonomy; peat land categorized as organosol as it contains more than 30% organic matters. The process when microorganism decompose the organic matter is the activity that will result more CO2, CH4 and another chemical compound to contribute to the air pollution.
In Indonesia, Peat land called ‘Tanah Gambut'. Historically that name taken from a region in South Kalimantan which all the land almost covered by peat land itself, about a half hour trip away from my city. Many people live there and they exist from long ago as Gambut itself potentially used as agricultural area. Recently, through years Kec Gambut growing faster with so many development in it. Residences take over the land as real estates, people sell their land with a good price to stakeholders that want to get the profit from their business activity there. Does this land conversion have an impact to the peat land and environment? Yes it has. Explaining about it will take so many times and need to put so much literature about researches which have been done before. So I won’t explain too deeply about that.
I myself concern to the activity that will reduce the impact so I focus to the cause in social case. I wonder if the people who are living in Kec Gambut have enough knowledge about peat land they belong to beside its usage as farming land. Do they know about the negative impact peat land can bear if it’s unmanaged well? So let’s we start from here.
The infrastructure development is running so fast in Gambut as this place has the main road that connects Banjarmasin and Banjarbaru which both are the biggest cities in South Kalimantan. It becomes a promising target for business stakeholders, between the cities you can find some real estates, even an apartments and amusement park such as water park and etc.
Land conversion is running wild, those who are used to be paddy fields now become building blocks; the place of luxury living.
How about land conservation especially for peat land? It says that peat land with depth more than 2 meters is a conservation area that should not be managed, or, managed in very certain management system. We also learn that peat has main function as water-holder, it works like sponge that absorb the water around. Peat itself can absorb 10 times amount of water than its own mass. So we can see here that if we lose peat land, we will get a big amount of water that will cause flood to happen. Activity that will turn Kecamatan Gambut to be a metro city really gives contribution to this.
So what I’m gonna do? Based on the case above, I have an idea to spread the specific knowledge about gambut/peat soil to the people, as usual I concern to the youth who potentially will have long term impact. This project is aimed to make a massive awareness in the head of the people who live in Gambut about peat land; could it be dangerous or useful; the threat and the advantages; and all the best management they can do over the peat land. This project has the youth in Gambut as the target, specifically the high school students.
As I think the knowledge should be transferred in a good way, I and my team decide to create a simple peat land model. All the schools have planetarium, why don’t they have this- the thing that really shows what happening around them, the thing they are standing on-?
This model will show the students about how peat land works and its function in a simple way and the threat that peat land will bear if it’s not managed well.
We will make 3 copies of this model and give them to 3 high schools located in Gambut. It works so simple and will be attached with the manual of the model. if the response good on this, we intend to make more copies and give to wider target. We also expect for funding, donation is really open for those who concern about the peat land environment.
Indonesia has a big amount of peat land, if planetarium is important in every school, so is this model to the region which has covered land by peat.