Indonesia: VP urges environment forestry ministry to familiarize people with peatland restoration

Antara 7 Oct 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla has instructed the Environment and Forestry Ministry to familiarize all sections of the society with the importance of restoring the peatland.

"The vice president has urged the ministry to disseminate information about peatland restoration in all regions of Indonesia," Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said here on Friday.

The discussion on peatland restoration was led by the vice president himself.

The minister remarked that mutual understanding among the central government, the local administration, and the investors was needed to avoid any problems in the future.

"Restoration of peatland was aimed at preserving the environment," the minister pointed out.

The government will release a government regulation (PP) on environmental economy.

"Currently, 15 companies have expressed an interest to carry out restoration of the ecosystem in Indonesia, but some of them are not into peatland restoration," the minister stated.

Indonesia's peatland area is estimated at 20.6 million hectares, or about 10.8 percent of the countrys total land area. Of this, approximately 7.2 million hectares, or 35 percent, is located on the Sumatra Island.

The Indonesian government had earlier issued a presidential regulation for the establishment of a peatland restoration body to prevent fires in the future.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar remarked here on Wednesday that the Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 1 of 2016 was issued on January 6, 2016.

"Actually, much of the peat body's task comprises restoring the landscape and the peatland ecology, thus saving and protecting the environment and preventing any fires," she affirmed.

She explained that the institution was tasked with safeguarding, managing, and restoring the peatland areas.

She informed that two to three million hectares of peatland areas will be restored.

The minister explained that several institutions and ministries such as the Environment and Forestry Ministry, the Public Works and Housing Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the Agrarian and Spatial Affairs Ministry, and the National Development Planning Board will be involved in the effort.(*)

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