Peat agency to revise roadmap by incorporating new peat regulations

(foresthints.news) - Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency Chief Nazir Foead has confirmed that his team is in the process of revising the December 2016 peat restoration roadmap by incorporating several recently-issued peat regulations.

“We are preparing a revision of the roadmap, the process for which involves integrating the recently-revised government regulation on peat, including the set of Environment and Forestry Ministerial regulations and decrees issued in February this year,” Nazir told foresthints.news (Apr 18).

He explained that the roadmap revision process naturally incorporates detailed spatial information, to which end detailed mapping had been completed by the peat agency.

“The presence of the recently-revised government regulation has led us to revise the roadmap, with the purpose of strengthening both peat restoration and monitoring efforts.”

Nazir went on to say that the roadmap revision also includes adjustments to the indicative peat restoration map, including by referring to the technical and legal inputs from the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

Nazir pointed out that peat restoration efforts continued to be targeted towards both drained and not-yet drained peat domes, including burned peat areas, among other things.

“The detailed map which has been prepared will be very helpful for boosting and accelerating peat restoration efforts on the ground,” he enthused.

Strong backbone

The peat agency chief described how the recently-revised government regulation on peat signed by President Joko Widodo in early December last year would provide strong support for peat restoration and protection efforts.

“We should be grateful that Indonesia has this recently-revised peat regulation, as it forms the backbone for peat restoration and protection, in the interests of both the public and business, in the short term, medium term and long term,” Nazir asserted.

He argued that the recently-revised peat regulation is also firmly in the national interest, in that it will bolster national economic growth in the years ahead.

“The President has reminded us several times of the severity of the losses brought about by the 2015 peat fires, including the significant correction to economic growth caused by them. As such, the recently-revised government regulation will prove really useful in minimizing potential losses due to similar peat fires in the future.”

Nazir emphasized that the decision to issue the recently-revised government peat regulation took into account how the 2015 peat fires had quite clearly damaged the peatland ecosystem, meaning that intensive efforts aimed at peat protection and management were essential.

The establishment of the peat restoration agency by the President in early January last year was also based on considerations about the necessity of speeding up peat restoration in the wake of the 2015 peat fires.

“All in all, we want to avoid a repeat of 2015’s massive peat fires in the future. The losses caused to the state, public and business were immense. To this end, the recently-revised government regulation should really serve as a mainstream measure in protecting and managing peatlands,” Nazir urged in concluding his discussion with foresthints.news.

President Joko Widodo has continually demonstrated a high level of concern for peat protection, especially since the devastating peat fires of 2015. The President has on several occasions, such as at the end of January this year, reiterated the vast extent and size of the destruction and losses as a result of these fires.

Moreover, the President has also underlined that there will be no compromises when it comes to law enforcement actions taken against perpetrators of peat violations, particularly those linked with peat fires.