Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about Pantau Gambut and our work through the answers to frequently asked questions below.
About Peatland Protection
What is the importance of peatland? Why do peatlands need to be protected?
Peatlands contain large amounts of carbon. When they are dried out or burnt, peatlands release this carbon into the atmosphere. This adversely impacts the environment, public health, and access to education. In 2015, more than half of Indonesian fires began in peatlands, and these fires generated more carbon emissions than those generated daily by the US economy. Fires in Indonesia in 2015 also led to 100 cases of premature mortality and school closures due to the haze.
What actions has the Indonesian government taken to protect peatlands?
The Indonesian government implemented several initiatives in 2016 aimed to reduce peatland emissions. These efforts include: establishing the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) in early 2016 and releasing Regulation No. 57/2016 in early December, amending Regulation No. 71/2014 on peatland ecosystem protection and management. This regulation reinforces the prohibition on zoning changes in peatlands until the government determines the function of conservation and cultivation zones. The Indonesian government has since released additional regulations as follow-ups to Regulation No. 57/2016.
What challenges does Indonesia face with regard to peatland protection and restoration?
Peatland protection and restoration efforts face significant challenges. One hurdle is the gap between pledges and capacity amongst national and subnational organizations and government institutions. Another challenge is the weakness of citizens’ monitoring power, which is inhibited by limited access to public documents and documents that have unnecessarily been withheld from the public.
What roles can the public play in peatland protection and restoration efforts?
Given the widespread negative impacts of dried-out or burnt peatlands, the protection and restoration of peatland ecosystems should become a collective movement supported by all elements of society. Citizens need to take responsibility for monitoring the government and other practitioners’ progress on their pledges toward protecting and restoring peatlands. In order to do this effectively, the public needs to be aware of what’s happening in the field and the extent to which pledges are being implemented.
The media is responsible for informing the public of the importance of peatlands to environmental protection and carbon emissions. Progress on peatland restoration efforts and challenges should also be made public. Making this information publicly available is expected to generate new ideas and support the achievement of peatland ecosystem restoration targets.
About Pantau Gambut
What is the purpose of the Pantau Gambut platform?
The Pantau Gambut platform helps members monitor peatland management and restoration efforts carried out by local and national government institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector actors. The platform serves to:
- Facilitate communication and coordination amongst Pantau Gambut’s local networks;
- Provide the media with data and information about peatland restoration activities; and,
- Highlight partner organizations’ peatland management, advocacy, and restoration work.
Who can join the Pantau Gambut Partnership Network?
Any civil society organization that is registered in Indonesia and has engaged in programming or research related to Indonesian peatlands can join the Pantau Gambut Partnership Network. If you are interested in partnering with Pantau Gambut, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where does the data in the Restoration Activities interactive map come from?
Data on restoration activities is obtained from multiple sources, including government agencies, companies, civil society organizations, and local communities involved in peatland restoration activities. This data has been obtained and reproduced with the owner’s approval. The Pantau Gambut team confirms that the data provided is complete to ensure consistency. In addition to data on restoration activities, there is also data on forest moratorium developments and the distribution of peatlands, etc., obtained from multiple sources. Specific data sources are provided on the Restoration Map page.
How are Pantau Gambut’s Restoration Commitment’s selected?
The process of selecting commitments and public figures to feature in Pantau Gambut’s Restoration Commitments begins with analyzing policy and research on peatlands, followed by a focused discussion with national and local civil society organizations in 8 peatland restoration priority provinces. Finally, conclusions from the discussion and analysis are scrutinized by Pantau Gambut team, which is made up of representatives from civil society organizations like Epistema Institute, Kaoem Telapak, Kemitraan, World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia, and Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan.
Peatland restoration commitment criteria:
- Commitment speaker – The commitment was stated by a national or regional-level government official or the leadership of a company or organization.
- Commitment type – The commitment must be in the form of a policy (contained in an official institutional document), public statement, transcript, or circular.
- Official information source – The commitment must refer to official information sources that can be accessed and verified by the public.
- Full-sentence commitment statement – The commitment must be expressed in complete sentences with subjects and predicates, and must be based on real actions.
If Pantau Gambut aims to provide information on all stakeholders’ pledges, why do I only see updates on government pledges on the site?
Pantau Gambut’s mission is to review progress on the pledges of all stakeholders, including the government, private sector actors, and civil society organizations. Pantau Gambut’s early content focuses on government pledges, because the Indonesian government has made progress toward restoring peatlands through the development of legislation and institutions. Pantau Gambut will be updated with progress on pledges from other restoration practitioners when further information becomes available.