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[en] Forested tropical peatlands in SE Asia store at least 42,000 Megatonnes of soil carbon. This carbon is increasingly released to the atmosphere due to drainage and fires associated with plantation development and logging. Peatlands make up 12% of the SE Asian land area but account for 25% of current deforestation. Out of 27 million hectares of peatland, 12 million hectares (45%) are currently deforested and mostly drained. One important crop in drained peatlands is palm oil, which is increasingly used as a biofuel in Europe. In the PEAT-CO2 project, present and future emissions from drained peatlands were quantified using the latest data on peat extent and depth, present and projected land use and water management practice, decomposition rates and fire emissions. It was found that current likely CO2 emissions caused by decomposition of drained peatlands amounts to 632 Mt/y (between 355 and 874 Mt/y). This emission will increase in coming decades unless land management practices and peatland development plans are changed, and will continue well beyond the 21st century. In addition, over 1997-2006 an estimated average of 1400 Mt/y in CO2 emissions was caused by peatland fires that are also associated with drainage and degradation. The current total peatland CO2 emission of 2000 Mt/y equals almost 8% of global emissions from fossil fuel burning. These emissions have been rapidly increasing since 1985 and will further increase unless action is taken. Over 90% of this emission originates from Indonesia, which puts the country in 3rd place (after the USA and China) in the global CO2 emission ranking. It is concluded that deforested and drained peatlands in SE Asia are a globally significant source of CO2 emissions and a major obstacle to meeting the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions, as expressed by the international community. It is therefore recommended that international action is taken to help SE Asian countries, especially Indonesia, to better conserve their peat resources through forest conservation and through water management improvements aiming to restore high water tables.