Greenpeace calls for peatlands in protection zones to be liberated from pulpwood concessions

( - Greenpeace Indonesia has asked that pulpwood plantation concessions operating in peat domes or peatlands which form part of protection zones only be given time to harvest their current crop of acacia, after which these companies should not be allowed to continue planting acacia in these locations and instead ought to play a role in restoring them.

As a replacement for the acacia currently prevalent in the concessions, Greenpeace has proposed that the companies concerned undertake revegetation using native local species that are considered suitable for peatland areas. This should be done in tandem with canal blocking to ensure that the re-wetting of previously drained peatlands is optimized.

Furthermore, the prominent NGO has demanded that peatlands - even if they do not constitute peat domes - located in pulpwood concessions which form the important habitat of legally protected species, including their corridors, be incorporated into protection zones.

All of these critical points were raised by Yuyun Indradi, a political forest campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia, in an interview with on Thursday (May 25).

The Greenpeace activist went even further, advocating that peatlands incorporated into protection zones be liberated from pulpwood concessions.

After harvesting has taken place in peatlands which are incorporated into protection zones, the pulpwood concessions operating there must be taken over by the government. Subsequently, these drained peatland areas must be restored together with the former concession permit holders under the government's control, Yuyun enjoined.

Peat agency transparency essential

The Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency is tasked with coordinating and facilitating the restoration of peatlands in seven priority provinces in Indonesia. Greenpeace has appealed for the peat agency to be transparent in carrying out its duties, especially in terms of data related to peat restoration maps which involves cultivation and protection zones.

In addition to being transparent, this data should be accessible to the public, Yuyun urged.

The activist went on to say that the peat agency should have a clear plan, particularly with respect to how it treats, for example, pulpwood concessions operating in peat domes and peatlands situated in protection zones.

Dont wait until the permit for pulpwood concessions operating in peatlands classified as protection zones expires and only then commence restoration. One cycle is sufficient, he implored.

Name and shame

Greenpeace is also encouraging the peat agency to publicize the names of companies operating in peatlands in protection zones. Such announcements are crucial as they enable the public to monitor the operations of those companies," Yuyun explained.

The Greenpeace campaigner pointed out that the obvious objective of such public monitoring is to make sure that the companies dont engage in any activities that damage the peatlands in any way.

If any company is found to be conducting operations that are damaging peatlands in a protection zone within its concession, firm and unambiguous action needs to be taken against the offending company, Yuyun spelled out in concluding the interview with