Honesty with facts on the ground is imperative, says Chief of Peat Agency

(foresthints.news) - Nazir Foead, Chief of the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency, emphasized that in order for the Indonesian peatland restoration efforts under his leadership to be effective, his new deputies had to be honest with the facts on the ground. He also underlined that the success of the peatland restoration being undertaken by the peat agency would depend on turning community into major stakeholder.

"The potential for success for the peat agency lies at the community level. Performance monitoring is very important and we should be honest with the facts on the ground," Nazir stressed while inaugurating the agency's secretary and four deputies on Friday (Feb 19) at the State Secretarys office complex in Jakarta.

He went on to explain that the management and use of funds must be transparent and accountable as the agency is very reliant upon funding support from the international community.

"We need to act with integrity as well as be accountable when it comes to administering and utilizing the peatland agencys budget because this budget involves support from international sources?," Nazir reiterated.

In his speech, Nazir reminded attendees how massive the 2015 land and forest fires had been, and how vast swathes of peatland had been burned. Citing the recently expressed view of a number of economists, Nazir pointed out that the 2015 land and forest fires were so severe as to cause a correction in Indonesias economic growth last year.

"Indonesias economic growth in 2015 underwent quite a debilitating correction as a result of the huge land and forest fires. The escalation of these fires had a major impact on the Indonesian economy, causing a downturn in the countrys economic growth," said Nazir.

"Economic growth in Indonesia last year would without doubt have been stronger if the fires had not occurred, he added.

Nazir asked that his deputies work closely with relevant stakeholders and that a synergy be built among them so that the peat agency would be able to meet its targets as clearly expressed in the presidential regulation issued in early January 2016.