Indonesia: Govt asked to be more open to "peatland management for economic activities"

Antara 13 Mar 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Chairman of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) Irman Gusman said the government should be more open to peatland management for economic activities.

"The government should not restrict all kinds of activities on peatlands because many (economic) activities have been running there. It should not make a wrong decision that could cause stagnancy to industry and increase in the number of unemployed people in Indonesia," he said here over the weekend.

He said that the village funds which almost totaled Rp50 trillion can be used to control forest and land fires.

"By using the village funds, the government should not necessarily depend on foreign assistance. Moreover, foreign funds, though small, require a lot of and difficult requirements," he said.

He said foreign funds were full of interests aimed to weaken Indonesian flagship commodities such as oil palm plantation and forest industrial products.

Irman sited as an example the fire-free village program now being implemented by a number of companies. This is a collaborative effort that is successful in reducing the number of hotspots.

"Forest and land fire handling should involved all stakeholders. There is no need to blame each other," he stated.(*)

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