Indonesia: Peat Land Restoration Agency (BRG) to restore 2.4 million hectares of damaged peat lands

Antara 11 Dec 16;

Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias Peat Land Restoration Agency (BRG) said it hoped to restore 2.4 million hectares of damaged peat lands until 2020.

By 2020, around 2.4 million hectares of damaged peat lands would be restored, BRG chief Nazir Foead said here.

Nazir said the country has 14 million hectares of peat lands in 17 provinces, but President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) wanted to focus on restoration of 13 million hectares of damaged and burnt peat lands in seven provinces.

The seven provinces are Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Papua, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.

Approximately 875,000 hectares of peat lands in the seven provinces burned during forest fires and land in 2015.

"The president asked us to focus in the seven provinces. Of the 13 million hectares of peat lands there are only less than six hectares yet undamaged in the form of primary forests," Nazir said.

Short term attempt to restore the damaged peat lands is by utilizing existing water resources around that area, he said.

BRG, however, is still waiting for the result of mapping survey in the form of geospatial map of peat land from the state run Gajahmada University (UGM), he said.

He said further, BRG wanted the process of restoring the peat lands is carried out with integration, that a guideline is needed as a reference for application in all regions.

Nazir said BRG cooperates with a team of experts from UGM to prepare the guidance map for the protection of peat land.

The geospatial map with a scale of 1:20,000 would show the map of area around the peat lands having water resources.

"I hope UGM would wrap up the process of mapping by the end of this year that it could be disseminate in all district areas having peat lands for restoration. We hope the physical restoration next year could properly follow the planning," he said.

Concerned about the extensive damage to peat lands by big forest fires in Indonesia in 2015, President Joko Widodo formed BRG to coordinate and accelerate the restoration to preserve peat ecosystem health and biodiversity.

A recent Dialogue on Climate of the United Nations Development Program said that the restoration of peat lands in Indonesia has made progress with strategic planning, an action plan and the preparation of the indicative map of damaged peat lands.
(Uu.H-ASG/F001)

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