Gambut di Ujung Kemusnahan

Berita terkait hasil FGD “Solusi Titik Api” (selasa 3 november 2015).

Senin, 09 November 2015

LAHAN gambut tropis merupakan representasi dari sebuah ekosistem unik. Ia terbentuk saat

pasokan air menghambat peluruhan materi organik dari banyak vegetasi yang terkumpul selama ribuan tahun.

Diperkirakan lahan gambut di seluruh dunia menyimpan 20%-35% karbon di dalam tanah dari total gambut di bumi ini sehingga perubahan apa pun yang terjadi pada lahan gambut ini dapat menyebabkan emisi gas rumah kaca.

Indonesia memiliki lahan gambut terluas di antara negara tropis, yaitu sekitar 20 juta ha (2006) serta tersebar di beberapa wilayah Indonesia, terutama di Sumatra, Kalimantan, dan Papua.

Lahan gambut Indonesia punya nilai penting bagi dunia karena menyimpan setidaknya 57 miliar ton karbon. Hal itu membuat kawasan ini sebagai salah satu daerah utama penyimpan karbon dunia. Karbon di lahan gambut Indonesia hanya mampu ditandingi hutan hujan di Amazon, yang menyimpan 86 miliar ton karbon.

Peran penting karbon Indonesia ini salah satunya mencegah emisi karbon sehingga suhu bumi tidak naik hingga 2 derajat celsius. Untuk mencegah kenaikan suhu tersebut, manusia di bumi tidak bisa melepas emisi lebih dari 600 miliar ton karbon dioksida mulai saat ini hingga 2050. Emisi karbon lahan gambut Indonesia apabila lepas secara keseluruhan menuju atmosfer, akan melepas sepertiga cadangan karbon yang ada.

Sebaliknya, kalau dalam keadaan hutan alami, lahan gambut ini berfungsi sebagai penambat (sequester) karbon sehingga berkontribusi mengurangi gas rumah kaca di atmosfer.

Lahan gambut menyimpan hampir 60 miliar ton karbon, atau hampir 6 kali lipat lebih banyak ketimbang emisi karbon yang dihasilkan seluruh umat manusia di bumi.

Namun, pelepasan karbon di lahan gambut pun bisa berkali lipat daripada tanah bermineral. Hal ini terjadi jika lahan gambut mengalami gangguan seperti dikeringkan atau dibuka tutupan hutan di atasnya dengan tujuan misalnya, untuk alih guna lahan.

Pertambahan penduduk, dinamika pembangunan, serta alih guna atau konversi besar-besaran lahan gambut menyebabkan kerusakan pada lahan gambut dan terus-menerus mengeluarkan emisi. Sebuah kajian terhadap lahan gambut di Sumatra dan Kalimantan, seluas 10 juta hektare ditemukan bahwa sebagian besar lahan gambut ini sudah terdegradasi.

Kurang dari 4% yang masih tertutup hutan rawa gambut dan hanya sekitar 11% yang tertutup hutan yang relatif baik. Sisanya ialah sumber titik api dan sudah diubah menjadi perkebunan, seperti yang sudah terjadi di Pulau Sumatra.

Salah kelola
Menurut pakar gambut dari Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI), Tukirin Partomihardjo, kerusakan dan kemerosotan ekosistem hutan rawa gambut umumnya disebabkan pengelolaan yang kurang tepat, seperti penebangan pohon (legal dan ilegal) yang dilanjutkan kanalisasi untuk transportasi.

Pengelolaan hutan rawa gambut, terutama melalui sistem pembukaan dan kanalisasi sangat rentan terhadap kebakaran. Material gambut menjadi kering akibat tindakan itu, serta sangat potensial sebagai bahan yang mudah terbakar.

Karena itulah, restorasi lahan gambut dapat menjadi prioritas program pengurangan emisi sekaligus untuk mengembalikan fungsi ekologis lahan gambut.

Kegiatan pengurangan emisi dari deforestasi dan degradasi dari lahan gambut yang terkonversi hanya mungkin dilakukan melalui kombinasi dari mencegah drainase dan degradasi lahan gambut, serta juga membasahi lahan gambut yang terdrainase dan telah terdegradasi. (Gurit Ady Suryo/H-2)


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