Indonesia: Vice president chairs meeting on peatland

Antara 7 Jan 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf M. Kalla chaired a meeting on peatland management at his residence here on Thursday.

The meeting, attended by several high-ranking officials, discussed the governments plan to restore peatland areas, according to Husain Abdullah, a spokesman of the vice president.

Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of National Development Planning/Chairman of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Sofyan Djalil, and Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa were among those attending the meeting.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, Chairman of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) Mulyaman Hadad, and Head of the Presidential Staff Teten Masduki were also present during the discussion.

The meeting was likely to discuss a plan to set up a peatland restoration agency.

Kalla had earlier remarked that the government would adopt measures to prevent forest fires and to restore the peatland areas burnt during the forest fires last year.

"Both forest fires and burnt peatland areas have to be dealt with simultaneously," Kalla pointed out on October 26, 2015.

The government will organize an international conference on peatland management to find solutions to peatland fires.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan had earlier stated that it would take some three to five years to restore the burnt peatland areas.(*)

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