Indonesia: Thousands of hectares of land in S Sumatra to be restored

Antara 9 May 17;

Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA News) - An area of 400 thousand hectares of land in South Sumatra province is targeted for restoration and revegetation until 2020.

The initiative of restoration of the critical land was discussed at the meeting of Asia-Pacific environment ministers or Bonn Challenge in Palembang on May 9 and 10, Regional Secretary of South Sumatra province Joko Imam Sentosa said here on Tuesday.

He stated that the meeting discussed the restoration of critical land including peat lands, among others.

Moreover, South Sumatra has a lot of peat and deforested lands, due to fire in 2015, which need to be restored.

Therefore, South Sumatra hosted the meeting of international ministers. The main purpose of the meeting was to restore the deforested and critical lands, including peat lands.

Indeed, South Sumatra has been implementing the restoration of land. Hence, the participants of the meeting also inspected the land being restored, which was located in Sepucuk village, Ogan Komering Ilir district, South Sumatra province.

Governor of South Sumatra Alex Noerdin remarked that the restoration of land required substantial funds and support from all parties.

Likewise, the ministerial meeting was a form of state commitment for the preservation of forests, as various countries and non-governmental organizations will assist in the implementation of land and forest restoration, he added.(*)

World lends North Sumatra hand in restoring peatland areas
Safrin La Batu The Jakarta Post 11 May 17;

The Bonn-Challenge High Level Roundtable Meeting in Palembang, South Sumatra, concluded on Thursday with participants agreeing to help the province restore peatland areas that were damaged by catastrophic fires in 1997 and 2006.

The meeting kicked off on Tuesday, but the formal closed-door discussion started the next day. Delegates from 29 countries, central government representatives and local administration officials from Sumatra participated in the talks.

Speaking after the closed-door session on Wednesday evening, South Sumatra Governor Alex Nurdin said the participants had agreed to assist the province in restoring 11 damaged areas, nine of which were peatland areas.

“The form of assistance is land restoration. We are not going to receive money, but it is in the form of programs [to restore the damaged land],” Alex said when asked how much money the provincial administration would receive under the program.

Details of the restoration work would be discussed soon by technical teams, the governor added.

At least 739,000 hectares of peatland have been damaged by fires in the province. Alex said on Tuesday that it had taken five years for the province to restore the areas, at a cost of around Rp 15 million (US$1,122) for every hectare of land each year.

The governor said the province did not have enough funds to do that alone. Therefore, he expected the restoration to involve various stakeholders, including private companies and local residents.

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world's deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350 million ha by 2030. The donors behind the global initiative include Germany, Norway and the US. (ebf)

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