Work of The Indonesia Peatland Restoration Agency Gains Momentum

Sep 1, 2016

Jakarta, 29 August 2016 – United Nations Development Programme’s bi-monthly Climate Dialogue this week confirmed that progress has been made towards peatland restoration in Indonesia: strategic planning is in place, an action plan is in progress, and indicative maps of degraded peatland have been prepared.

Speaking at the UNDP event was Mr. Nazir Foead, the Head of Indonesia’s Peatland Restoration Agency,Badan Restorasi Gambut (BRG), who elaborated on achievements, challenges, and the way forward for his Agency to restore two million hectares of degraded peatland by 2020.

In response to the devastating forest and land fires of 2015, President Joko Widodo established the BRG through Presidential Regulation No. 1/2016 in order to coordinate and accelerate the recovery of peatlands. The health of peat ecosystems, and the biodiversity they support, is central to the President’s Nawa Cita (nine priorities) development agenda from social, economic, and environmental perspectives. 

Addressing the audience, H.E. Mr. Stig Traavik, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Indonesia, drew attention to the strong language used by the President during his second State of the Nation address on 16 August where he referred to the forest and peatland fires as “crimes against humanity” that have done irreversible damage to the health of thousands of people.

Mapping burnt and degraded peatland is an important step towards restoration. The event was an opportunity for the Agency to share indicative maps of nearly 13 million hectares of peatland in the provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Papua, and West, East, and Central Kalimantan – where restoration is prioritized.

Approximately 875,000 hectares in the seven provinces are classified as burnt during the 2015 forest and land fires. The non-burnt land is classified as either peat dome with canals, intact peat dome, or shallow peat (non-dome)- that in part dictate the nature of the restoration activities.

Mr. Foead explained that rewetting, revegetation, and revitalization is the triple-bottom line for all peatland restoration activities. Starting in 2017 there will be state budget allocated to the BRG for coordinating and implementing restoration. The Agency is also working to leverage NGOs, companies, civil society, and the development community to support their efforts.

The event marked the launch of a UNDP publication here on the impact of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate phenomenon in achieving national climate targets and for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Indonesia’s ability to effectively address forest and land fires and to restore degraded peatland determines its ability to reduce emissions overall and to contribute to global climate change mitigation.

Mr. Foead’s presentation can be accessed here.

This event was part of UNDP’s regular Climate Dialogue Series, a stakeholder-driven initiative that brings policy practitioners, academics, civil society and private sector stakeholders together to share experiences and innovations on topics related to climate change. Previous events discussed forest governance here and the Paris Agreement here. For updates on future events, please email events.id@undp.org

Contact information
Dr. Abdul Wahib Situmorang
Technical Advisor for Forest Governance
Abdul.situmorang@undp.org; +628164804449
 
Isabel Dunstan
Communications Unit
isabel.dunstan@undp.org; +6281293737306

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