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POLICY

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December 1, 2020

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JAKARTA (FORESTHINTS.NEWS) – Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya stated in her official speech at the “Indonesia’s Omnibus Law for a better business, better world” event that President Joko Widodo has confirmed the extension of the tenure of the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) for the next four years.

The event, which was held to mark Indonesia’s Omnibus Law on Job Creation, was attended by more than 150 senior executives from multinational corporations, financial institutions, and institutional investors, all of whom are taking part in the Tri Hita Karana Forum Partners Dialogue to discover the opportunities created by the Omnibus Law.

According to Minister Nurbaya, the extension of the peat agency’s tenure forms part of President Widodo’s commitment and continued efforts aimed at peatland ecosystem recovery, one of the components of which is restoration.

“All legal and technical matters related to and required for the extension of the peat agency’s tenure have been undertaken properly, in accordance with the President’s directive,” said Minister Nurbaya in a written communication with FORESTHINTS.NEWS (Nov 30).

In early January 2016, President Widodo established the peat agency to restore the peat ecosystems burned in 2015 which covered an area of approximately 2 million hectares spread across the seven peat restoration priority provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Papua.

“The consideration underlying the President’s decision is that all the peat restoration targets still need to be achieved, such that it is necessary to extend the time for the implementation of the peat agency’s targets,” Minister Nurbaya explained.

The following photos were taken from the peat agency’s twitter feed (Sep 25 & Oct 19) and show some of the agency’s efforts in the form of a community-based canal blocking program which forms part of its peat restoration target fulfilment.

Budget approval obtained 

Months prior to the confirmation of the extension of the peat agency’s tenure, Minister Nurbaya on several occasions presented the 2021 state budget proposal for her ministry to the parliament, which includes a budget component for the peat agency, until it was approved. 

“The extension of the peat agency’s tenure is further complemented by the support of the state budget for 2021, which was proposed to parliament this year and has been approved,” she said, adding that the peat agency’s budget and program items continue to fall under her ministry.

“What this development essentially shows us is that the President continues to prioritize the recovery of peatland ecosystems as one of Indonesia’s mainstream forestry and environmental programs,” Minister Nurbaya pointed out.

“Indeed, peatland restoration is one of the legal approaches adopted by Indonesia as part of peatland ecosystem recovery,” she asserted.

Minister Nurbaya emphasized that we should all be very appreciative of President Widodo’s commitment to extending the peat agency’s tenure amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has presented its own challenges, especially in terms of efforts to obtain a secured state budget for the next four years.

She also stressed that Indonesia, like all countries facing the global pandemic, of course continues to prioritize dealing with public health and economic recovery in parallel due to the impact of COVID-19.

“However, in addition to prioritizing simultaneous public health and economic recovery, Indonesia is also going ahead with peatland ecosystem recovery, part of which involves the extension of the peat agency’s tenure until 2024 as a way of ensuring the continuation and consistency of peat restoration efforts,” Minister Nurbaya said in conclusion.