Indonesia: Government to set up peatland restoration agency next week -- President

Antara 1 Dec 15;

Paris (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has confirmed that the government will set up a peatland ecosystem restoration agency (BREG) next week to protect the peatland ecosystem and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

"Next week, it will be done for sure, so it will be formed," President Jokowi informed the press on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Change Conference, here, Monday.

Indonesia is committed to protecting its peatland areas, and therefore, it will revise old peatland concession licenses and not issue new licenses.

In his speech to several state leaders attending the conference, the president pointed out that the El Nino-induced drought in Indonesia had aggravated the condition of forest and peatland fires.

Indonesia managed to deal with the fires, although it was not easy, and the country has continued to implement legal enforcement measures against the perpetrators.

President Jokowi received a banner bearing the words "Dear Mr President, Save Forest and Peatland" from Greenpeace activists during a visit to the Indonesian pavilion in an exhibition held to coincide with the conference.

Greenpeace Indonesia campaigner Teguh Surya stated that some 253,800 hectares of Indonesias peatland areas were prone to conversion as they were located in industrial forest concession areas.

"Swift action is necessary to save the remaining peatland areas. We support Indonesias commitment," Surya emphasized.(*)

Widodo reinforces Indonesia's One Map policy in Paris climate change address
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the country will use its One Map policy to govern land and forest areas, during a speech to world leaders at the UN climate summit in Paris.
Saifulbahri Ismail Channel NewsAsia 1 Dec 15;

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the country will use its One Map policy to govern land and forest areas, during a speech to world leaders at the UN climate summit in Paris.

The one map initiative began under Indonesia's previous administration and was aimed at helping resolve disagreements resulting from the use of different data and maps, which often cause land disputes.

Speaking on Monday (Nov 30), Mr Widodo said he also intends to enforce the moratorium on forests, and review the issuance of peatland permits.

"As a country with one of the largest forest areas acting as the lung of the world, Indonesia is here today as part of the solution," he said.

"My government is developing Indonesia in a way that is giving due attention to the environment."

Indonesia has attracted strong criticism from activist groups and citizens about a failure to seriously address the annual choking haze, which affects large swathes of the country, caused largely by slash-and-burn land clearing.

The country at one point this year topped the world's list of greenhouse gas emitters, a result of the forest fires in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.

Envrionmental groups have also argued that Indonesia's climate targets lack clear baselines or ways for the country to cut its pollution output, a sign that the government is not serious about its green efforts.

In his speech, Mr Widod added that the forest fires this year were worsened by the El Nino phenomenon and would not alter Indonesia's commitment to reduce emissions by 29 per cent from business as usual levels by 2030.

The president said he was committed to giving strong political support for the success of COP21, however, said the Paris agreement should be balanced and fair, and not impede growth of developing countries.

He urged all parties to contribute more to mitigate climate change, especially developed nations, by mobilising the US$100 billion fund until 2020, and assist in the transfer of technology and capacity building.

- CNA/jb

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