The (including law enforcement) caused by the political
Posted On June 5, 2019
The main problem of this damaged peat ecosystem in Indonesia is lack of consolidation of sustainable peat management policies and lack of attention to the uniqueness of the fragile peat ecosystem. Part of the weakness in Indonesia are: the utilization of peatlands that have not been supported by adequate research results, unfinished spatial management, sustainable peat management by local value and weak regulation implementation (including law enforcement) caused by the political and economic interests behind the legislation itself.To overcome this, the government has worked with responsiveness and take strong steps towards a long-term solution, through moratorium to halt drainage and development on peatlands, a program to restore degraded peatlands, and more prevention-focused approach to managing fire.On early 2016, the President of Indonesia establish the Peat Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut, BRG). As a non-structural institution responsible to President, under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, BRG is mandated to coordinate and facilitate the restoration of around two million hectares of peatlands in seven priority provinces, namely Jambi, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Riau, South Sumatra and Papua until 2020.There are four main tasks of Peat Restoration Agency: to facilitate the recovery of degraded peatlands, to design (including mapping work) and develop sustainable peatlands utilization, to promote community participation in peatlands restoration implementation, and to facilitate research to support sustainable peatlands ecosystem management (BRG, 2016). The best strategy to restoration of peatlands is actually doing fire prevention. This means, peat that has been degraded and dried must be restored to its ecological and hydrological function. Associated with construction of the restoration, BRG has created a guide and standard operating procedures of the infrastructure development for rewetting the peatlands (bulkhead channel/canal blocking), seedling nursery, replanting on peatlands, and installation of drill pipe wells (deep wells). With this guide, the parties which will do the construction infrastructure of hydrological restoration peat can have same standard operation work (BRG, 2017). Efforts to restore peatlands in this case includes three things: re-wetting, replanting, and upgrading the welfare of the local community. At site level, BRG with the Peat Restoration Regional Team (Tim Regional Gambut Daerah, TRGD), a number non-governmental organizations, and the communities has manage peat ecosystem protection by making boreholes, channel canals, and developing alternatives wet-peat-friendly economy. BRG does not merely do physical restoration activities on peatlands. Together with ministries and related institutions, BRG strives to synchronize a number of policies and regulations to strengthen the agenda restoration of peat ecosystems. BRG also compiled a number of regulations on restoration procedures, verification rules of restoration map, and restoration planning on business entities.The important key to determine the target of peat restoration is mapping. The plans and actions of government programs are often not effective because there is no clear target. Therefore, BRG invites researchers, professionals and experts to jointly formulate the target map of the restoration area and restoration activities in accordance with the territory in a clear direction. This mapping is also expected to be one of the inputs for One Map Policy that proclaimed by the President of Indonesia, so there would be no more land issues, spatial and overlapping areas that would lead to many problems in the future (Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil, 2017). The mapping established by BRG is based on the conditions of peatland utilization. In this map also found that from 2.49 million hectares peatlands restoration target, as much as 1.4 million hectares are in the area of company’s concession. The restoration fund in this concession area should be borne by the companies because the government funds only can be used to restore peatlands are degraded outside concession companies. But BRG will give support as well as supervision in the restoration process (BRG, 2017). It would be challenging task for government as the involved companies are not very happy with the government’s plan, even though it has stated that it will pay for it. Companies are asking for incentive-wise. There have been suggestions to offer alternative land in exchange for the peatlands, but it is not easy to find particular area that meet the need. Restoring the peatlands means also restoring human dignity of society. Peatlands recovery also must improve welfare the surrounding community. Therefore, Indonesian government through BRG try as early as possible to avoid social clash, and adjusting with the aspirations and needs of the community. To achieve this, social safeguard framework policies needed. There is a consultation procedure for get public approval of construction and other restorations action programs. Indonesian government in search for environmental local practice of peat friendly agriculture. There are many people who work near or in the concession peatland areas. So providing alternative livelihoods for communities in these peatland areas is important. For example, farmers in Tanjung Jabung Barat, Jambi Province successfully cultivate coffee on the peat area of 2,500 hectares. In the Sungai Tohor, Riau Islands, the community also successfully cultivate and produce sago plant in the field peat. While in the District Pulang Pisau, Central Kalimantan, the people of Gohong Village succeed planting dragon fruit on peatlands (BRG, 2017). These local practices show there is a great chance to integrate the conservation efforts and restoration of peatlands, while increasing welfare community. The local people should avoid depending on the palm oil commodity as it is now, because actually this massive oil palm plantation is not peat friendly and could leads to damage of natural peat ecosystem.With support of local experts, the local also encouraged to adopt Burnless Land Farming (Pertanian Lahan Tanpa Bakar). Previously, many local farmer were using the old way to open the new farming with burning method because it is the easiest and less cost for them. But since the haze disaster in 1997 and 2015, they have more awareness now to environment risk.BRG also started doing preparation and raising participation of villagers through Peat Concern Village Program (Desa Peduli Gambut, DPG). BRG recorded that there are approximately 1,205 villages located at 2.49 million hectares area restoration. In the first year, BRG started doing community preparation in 105 villages which covers the village area of 806,312 hectares (BRG, 2017).