The Environment Research Division was established to advance the scientific understanding of environmental processes in support of sustainable peatland management in Sarawak.

The Division’s aims are to develop science-based solutions to manage peat resources in the light of global concerns on climate change and enhance stewardship of the environmental and economic values of Sarawak’s peat resource. The Division has, since 2010, established three eddy covariance flux towers. Their purpose is to measure and monitor the exchange rates of the greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4, as well as water vapour and energy fluxes between biosphere and atmosphere using the eddy covariance technique.

The Division’s research areas are as follows:
  1. Greenhouse gas (GHG) flux
  2. Carbon stock
  3. Peat surface fluctuation and hydrology
  4. Synthesis and modelling

The Division’s objectives are to:
  1. Provide scientifically credible environmental information and analyses as a means to develop more effective approaches to manage peatland.
    • understand and describe environmental variability and its effects on ecosystem processes;
    • identify links between climate change and ecosystem dynamics and develop the means to effectively predict the impacts of climate variability on both natural and managed peat ecosystems;
    • develop new approaches to characterize and assess peat ecosystems and the impacts of climate variability on them;
    • assess peat forest resources and develop simulation models and analyses to assist in the management of Sarawak’s peat ecosystems.

  2. Provide scientifically credible information in a timely manner to planners and decision makers tasked with formulating responsible peatland development policies.
    • develop environmental indices, integrated assessments and peat database management systems;
    • engage, inform and advise stakeholders, industries and academia on how to apply environmental information to assess and make forecasts about peat ecosystems.