TEMPO.CO Wednesday January 11, 2017
JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is targeting to restore 400,000 hectares of peatland this year. By 2020, Widodo wants 2 million hectares of peatlands restored.
“The government is committed to restoring peat lands in seven provinces: Riau, Jambi, South Sumatera, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Papua,” Jokowi said when opening a closed cabinet meeting on peatland restoration on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
The president said that 400,000 hectares is not an impossible target. To achieve it, the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) cannot work alone and must be helped by relevant ministries and agencies, local residents, plantation businesses and regional governments.
Jokowi said that officials must actively hold disseminations and activities to educate the public about peat restoration.
Another important element is to enhance law enforcement against concession holders who use protected lands or are implicated in land burning cases. The issuance of concession permits must also be evaluated.
Jokowi has asked the Environment and Forestry Ministry as well as the Agriculture Ministry prioritize peatland protection and preservation as well as the welfare of nearby communities when issuing peatland-related licenses.
The President also requested to stop giving new licenses for peat lands that are still in whole and intact, which measures at around 6.1 million hectares. “For peatlands that are still in whole but have concession permits, I want them to be turned into protected areas,” Jokowi said.