Protection and Management of Peat Ecosystems for Sustainable Development

Jakarta- The idea that the Government Regulation no. 71 Year 2014 on Peat Protection and Management has a negative impact on the economy is not a comprehensive study and can not be a reference policy of peat management in Indonesia.

Economic analysis and policy on natural resources and environment needs to be done comprehensively by considering ecological, social, and economic aspects, concluded Mahawan Karuniasa, Lecturer of Environmental Sciences University of Indonesia in Talk Show ”Kebijakan Pengelolaan Gambut di Indonesia Ditinjau Dari Aspek Ekologi, Ekonomi, dan Sosial” (Peat Management Policy in Indonesia Viewed From Ecological, Economic, and Social). The event was organized by the Environmental Science School of the University of Indonesia at Campus UI Salemba Tuesday (27/2). Environmental indicators such as the status of various natural resources and environmental services need to be continuously developed to support development studies comprehensive sustainability.

Talk Show was attended by environmental leaders and Professor of Economics University of Indonesia, Emil Salim, Head of the Peat Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut – BRG) Nazir Foead, and Senior Advisor to the Minister of Environment and Forestry Nur Masripatin.

Based on the establishment of the National Peat Ecosystem Map, Indonesia has a 24.7 million hectare peatland ecosystem, with 12.4 million hectares for protected functions and 12.3 million hectares for cultivation.

According to Emil Salim, the practice of making canals to drain peat is aimed at raising the quality of palm kernels, whereas dry peat is prone to burning.

Conflicts arise between the intention of raising the quality of palm oil with the threat of peat fires and damaging the peat ecosystem. Furthermore, due to the clearing of land by burning the land, with the aim of low cost, has resulted in a massive peat fires such as in 2015, which the World Bank estimated resulted in economic losses of 226.37 trillion rupiah. The challenge of Indonesia’s future with the ever-increasing number of people is the planning of the utilization of environmentally friendly natural resources for the sustainability of development.

Meanwhile, the head of BRG, Nazir Foead noted three important lessons in peat restoration: stakeholder collaboration, the need to locate local communities at the forefront, and peat restoration of stakeholders in a short time under the coordination and facilitation of BRG. In the aspect of climate change, the protection and management of peat ecosystems is essential to ensure Indonesia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement is to reduce 29% emissions by own capability and up to 41% with international partnerships by 2030. While in 2014 alone before the fire In 2015, based on Third National Communication Indonesia data submitted to the UNFCCC, CO2 emissions from peat fires accounted for 32% of total forest sector emissions and other land use or approximately 17% of total emissions of 1.84 Giga tons of CO2 equivalent. However, beyond the issue of climate change, sustainable management of peat ecosystems becomes a necessity for the sustainability of development and to welcome the future of Indonesia, said Mahawan Karuniasa, Chairman of the Indonesian Experts Network on Climate Change and Forestry.

Also present in the Talk Show are Supiandi Sabiham, Chairman of Indonesian Peat Society and Kiki Veriko, Deputy Head of LPEM Faculty of Economics and Business Universitas Indonesia.

Writer : Agung
Editor : Witra

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