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President targets 400,000 hectares of peatland restoration in 2017

11th January 2017 | 1.158 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has outlined a target to restore 400,000 hectares of peatland areas in seven provinces in 2017, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated.

"To achieve the target to restore peatland areas in 2017, the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) cannot work alone. It needs complete support of the ministries, state institutions, and local governments," President Jokowi stated at the start of a closed-door meeting on peatland restoration here, Wednesday.

The seven provinces are Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and Papua.

The meeting was also attended by BRG Chief Nazir Foead and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya.

The head of state emphasized that close coordination among stakeholders was necessary to attain the target of restoring 2 million hectares of peatland areas by 2020 and to avoid further environmental disasters of forest fires and haze.

Jokowi reiterated that peatland restoration should be carried out in regions outlined as cultivation areas for production forests as well as other uses.

The president has called to offer maximum protection to conserve 6.1 million hectares of undamaged peatland areas.

The government will no longer issue new licenses to use peatland areas as concessionaires land.

"For undamaged peatland areas, which already have the license, I want them to be established as the companys preserved land," he stressed.

The government will support any effort and will grant licenses to restore the peatland ecosystem to be conducted in cooperation with the local communities.(*)