The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) issued a new regulation as the basis for the implementation of peat restoration assistance tasks in 7 priority provinces. This regulation continues the peat restoration assistance task scheme which was implemented in 2018.
The implementation of the assistance task scheme for peat restoration in 2019 is stated in the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No. P.6/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/2/2019 about the Assignment of Partial Government Affairs in the Environment and Forestry Sector for Peat Restoration Activities for the 2019 Fiscal Year to the Governors of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and Papua. This regulation was officially enacted on 18 February 2019 and promulgated on 26 February 2019.
Through the assistance scheme, local government agencies will be actively involved in the implementation of peat restoration activities. Additoinally, the implementation of peat restoration activities will actively involve the community through a self-management scheme for the construction of peat wetting infrastructures, such as drilled wells and canal blocking, the revegetation program for burned land, and revitalization of people's livelihoods.
There are some differences in the regulation concerning assistance tasks for 2019 as stated in Ministerial Regulation No. P.6 compared to the previous year's Ministerial Regulation No. P.61/2018. These differences are related to technical guidelines and instructions, coordination and facilitation, reporting stage mechanism, supervision arrangements for peat restoration activities in concession areas, and requirements for involving Community Groups (Pokmas) in peat restoration activities.
- Technical guidelines and instructions
Ministerial Regulation No. P.6/2019 has 3 attachments, i.e.
- Details of the assistance tasks for peat restoration activities
- Implementation guidelines, which contain the activities implementation pattern and implementing institutions, as well as organizational structure, monitoring, and evaluation
- Technical Instructions
Previously, Ministerial Regulation No. P.61/2018 was equipped with implementation guidelines and technical instructions which were regulated through the Regulation of the Director General of Pollution and Environmental Damage Control No. P.4/PPKL/PKG/PKL.0/3/2018. However, Ministerial Regulation No. P.6/2019 states that the director general's regulation is still needed for supervision guidance in construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure on concession lands, as well as technical regulations for the planting stages in making demonstration plots for revegetation of burned peatlands.
- Coordination and facilitation
Based on Director General Regulation No. P.4/2018, the coordination and facilitation of regional peat restoration activities are carried out by the Regional Peat Restoration Team (TRGD). However, in Ministerial Regulation No. P.6, coordination and facilitation of peat restoration activities is one of the 4 components of the assistance task secretariat. The components of the Assistance Task Secretariat's activities are:
- Routine meeting
- Coordination and facilitation of peat restoration activities
- Program management and activity support
- Monitoring and evaluation of the activity’s implementation
In implementing these activity components, an Assistance Task Force is formed by including the TRGD and other partners. The Assistance Task Force is a regional apparatus at the provincial level appointed by the governor to carry out program plans, activities, and assistance budgets within the scope of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. This means that there is a function of the TRGD that no longer exists in the coordination and facilitation of peat restoration through this assistance task in 2019.
- Different reporting stage mechanism
Ministerial Regulation No. P.61/2018 states that the head of assistance task force for regional peat restoration prepares and submits a report to the governor periodically. The governor also has the obligation to prepare an annual report on the implementation of programs, activities, and assistance budgets. The report is submitted by the governor to the Minister of Environment and Forestry through the Director General of Pollution and Environmental Damage Control with copies to the Head of Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) and the Chair of the Provincial People's Representative Council (DPRD).
According to the new Ministerial Regulation No. P.6/2019, the head of assistance task force prepares and submits a report to the Minister of Environment and Forestry through the Head of BRG every 3 months, 6 months, and at the end of the fiscal year. Meanwhile, the governor still has the obligation to prepare an annual implementation report and submit it to the Minister of Environment and Forestry through the Head of BRG.
- Supervision arrangements in the concession area
Ministerial Regulation No. P.6/2019 regulates in more detail the supervision in the construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure on peatlands. The supervision includes the following activities:
- dissemination of laws and regulations on the protection and management of peat ecosystems
- technical guidance in the construction, operation, and maintenance of peat rewetting infrastructure on concession land
The supervision will be done by a team formed by the proxy of assistance task budget user. However, according to Ministerial Regulation No. P.6/2019, the implementation of supervision in concession areas will await further guidance which will be regulated through the director general's regulation or a circular from the BRG.
- Requirements for involving Community Groups (Pokmas) in economic revitalization programs
Community Groups can submit proposals for alternative community economic assistance with the requirement of submitting Community Group data, business work plans, peat restoration work plans, as well as activity management plans, and assistance budgets. Community Group data includes administrative information, including member information, organizational structure, location, the decree of establishment, members' ID cards, and Tax Identification Number (NPWP). A survey conducted by Pantau Gambut in 2018 found that these requirements had been applied in the selection of Community Groups that submitted proposals for the implementation of self-managed peat restoration activities. However, in 2018, these requirements were not regulated in a ministerial regulation.