In the past 2 years we have formulated and monitored 7 pledges by the government to protect and restore peatland at the local and national levels. These pledges are:
On top of the 7 pledges above, we added an incidental pledge, for an Asian Games free of smoke from forest and land fires. This measure is based on a directive by President Joko Widodo to all parties to ensure that the Games, which lasted from 18 August to 2 September 2018, would not be disrupted by the fires.
Pantau Gambut has looked deeply into the enforcement of the 7 pledges related to the protection and restoration of peatland.
We have noted progress in 3 out of 7 pledges to restore peatland, namely the restoration of 2 million hectares of peatland proposed by President Joko Widodo, a ban on peatland clearing enacted by Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, as well as a moratorium on new permits pending improvements to the administration of primary forests and peatlands pledged by the President.
The Peatland Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut/BRG) claimed that it has managed to restore 676,901 hectares of peatland as of the end of 2018, from its target of 2 million hectares between 2016-2020. The mentioned hectares have yet to include peat restoration in companies’ working areas.
Companies holding business permits are responsible for restoration of peatlands in concession areas. Implementation and monitoring of peatland restoration activities within concession areas are major hurdles to the government’s 2 million hectares peatland restoration plans. There are no significant progresses in other pledges. In addition, Pantau Gambut considered one of the pledges is unfulfilled following a bribery case implicating its initiator, former governor of Jambi, Zumi Zola, during his term in office.
The pledges’ progresses as are summarized as follows:
|Pledge||Actor||Progress as of May 2019|
|Restoration of 2 million hectares of peatland in 5 years||Actor: President||
|Peatland clearing ban||Actor: Minister of Environment and Forestry||
|Suspension of new permits & improvement of primary natural forest and peatland governance||Actor: President||Issuance of PIPPIB Revision XV, Presidential Instruction on oil palm plantation moratorium|
|Total protection of peatlands and peatland permit review||Actor: President||-|
|Total protection of natural forests, peatlands, and coastal areas||Actor: President||Founding of Tropical Peatland Research Center|
|Prohibition of peatland clearing and exploitation for commercial forestry and plantations||Actor: Minister of Agriculture and Land Planning||-|
|Recommendation to revoke the licenses of companies that fail to take steps to prevent fires||Actor: (Former) Governor of Jambi||
|Forest fire free Asian Games||Actor: President||
Data from the Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK) has shown that Indonesia’s peatland ecosystem totaled over 24 million hectares spread throughout Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. Of this land, only 181.142 hectares remained in pristine condition. Millions of hectares of peatland, particularly in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua, have been damaged within different severity levels, from light to heavy damage.
|Undamaged||Mild Damage||Moderate Damage||Severe Damage||Very Severe Damage||Total|
Data source: The State of Indonesia Forest 2018, KLHK
The Pantau Gambut Local Networks or Simpul Jaringan (SJ) is spread across 8 provinces (7 provinces earmarked for peatland restoration and West Papua). Throughout 2018, they have finetuned their local activities to match the respective priorities of each province as agreed upon by all parties at the beginning of the year.
Sumatra is known to have the most extensive peatland ecosystem in Indonesia. The island’s peatland also bore the brunt of the damage to this particular ecosystem nationwide. Jambi, Riau and South Sumatra are among the provinces prioritized in the restoration of 2 million hectares of peatland. The graphics below from the Peatland Restoration Agency show the progress of peat restoration:
Estimates for these figures must take into account their effects on the ground. Monitoring efforts by Pantau Gambut in Sumatera area enlist the following findings*:
The damage to the peatland ecosystem in Kalimantan ranged from light to heavy. Three provinces on the island, namely West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan, have been earmarked for the government program to restore 2 million hectares of peatland. The figures below show the scope of restoration efforts according to data from the Peatland Restoration Agency or BRG.
Estimates for these figures must take into account their effects on the ground. Monitoring efforts by Pantau Gambut in Kalimantan area enlist the following findings*:
Papua is one of the provinces designated for the government’s goal to restore 2 million hectares of peatland. While about 38,753 hectares of peatland have been designated for restoration, data from the BRG revealed that only 1,100 hectares of peatland have been restored.
Progress in wider areas must take into account their effects on the ground. Pantau Gambut carried out analysis and ground-check in Papua and West Papua peatlands to come up with the following findings*:
Pantau Gambut has been receiving various stories and reports from the public about the primary issue of peatland restoration and the organization’s activities throughout 2018. Below are the stories of the affected individuals, many of them are overlooked by the government:
Below are a number of recommendations for the improvement of peatland ecosystem restoration and protection, based on Pantau Gambut field findings.
|The implementation of peatland restoration||
|Strengthening coordination between institutions||