By Romes Irawan Putra
from Kaliptra Andalas/Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut Riau

Regional consultation involving local community organizations is one of the methods used by the Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut Riau to disseminate analysis results and findings on the peatland restoration program in this province in 2018. Moreover, this activity aims to build synergy between the parties in monitoring peatland restoration in Riau in the future.

This regional consultation was held on 17 January 2019, where the Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut Riau presented the activities and analysis that had been carried out last year. Throughout 2018, they had carried out several activities, including field analysis and monitoring:

  1. Analysis of restoration carried out by non-governmental organizations and the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG)
  2. Identification of Forest and Land Fires in Riau Province
  3. Analysis of the Indicative Map of Postponement in Granting New Permits
  4. Analysis of the Riau Peat Ecosystem Protection and Management Plan (RPPEG) implemented by LPPM UNRI
  5. Field study on restoration by non-governmental organizations, BRG, industrial forest (HTI) and palm oil companies

In these activities, the Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut Riau underlined some important field findings that must be taken into account and resolved immediately. First, BRG’s restoration activities in Guntung Village were planned to include building 5 canal blocks and 16 drilled wells. However, based on Simpul Jaringan’s monitoring, there were no constructions of canal blocks and drilled wells.

Moreover, the Simpul Jaringan Riau overlaid the map of PT. Meskom Agro Sarimas’ right to cultivate (HGU) with Peat Hydrological Unit (KHG) and satellite images, and found the addition of the company's oil palm plantation management area in Bengkalis District. Based on these findings, the Simpul Jaringan Riau concluded that the Regional and City Governments should play a greater role in handling the issue of management permit and the addition of oil palm plantation area on peatlands, especially in the outer islands of Indonesia.

The following is a video documentation of the 2018 Aim for Riau Peatland Restoration event.

After the consultation, the participants hoped for an efficient restoration for the peatland communities. This regional consultation saw the need for:

  1. Active involvement of civil society organizations and communities in peatland restoration
  2. Study results on peatland products
  3. Transparency of restoration activities carried out by all parties
  4. Encouraging restoration by corporates and disclosing the implementation data
  5. Synergy between the Peat Care Village (DPG) facilitators and non-governmental organizations in field facilitation so that the program can be sustainable
  6. Pantau Gambut as an advocacy tool for monitoring peatland restoration in Riau
  7. Encouraging a revision of the regional peatland restoration team to involve non-governmental organizations and academics
  8. Identifying the functions in the Peat Hydrological Unit (KHG)
  9. Synergy of work systems between BRG deputies
  10. Monitoring and escorting law enforcement on environmental destruction
  11. Campaign to increase the stakeholders’ concern for peatland restoration

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