Indonesian President Joko Widodo sets up peatland restoration agency

The peatland restoration agency is a non-structural agency, responsible to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
The peatland restoration agency is a non-structural agency, responsible to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has set up a peatland restoration agency, which will start operating on a state budget this month (January 2016), Indonesian news agency Kompas.com reported on Wednesday (Jan 13).

"I would like to announce that a peatland restoration agency has been set up through a presidential decree that I signed on Jan 6," Kompas quoted him as saying at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Mr Joko said the agency will be led by environmental activist Nazir Foead, who has worked with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Indonesia.

He has asked Mr Nazir to coordinate for the restoration of peatlands in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Papua provinces.

"I view Nazir Foead as possessing the competency and experience to carry out the restoration of forests and peatlands and, most of all, the capability to coordinate with ministries, agencies and international agency networks," he said, according to Kompas.com.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, at the same announcement, said the peatland restoration agency is a non-structural agency, responsible to the President.

It will have a head, a secretary and four deputies, Kompas.com reported.

The agency will be supported by a team of technical directors comprising governors, academics, professionals, research institutions and community leaders.

The agency's term will end on Dec 31, 2020, reported Kompas.com, and it will start peatland restoration in Pulang Pisau, Ogan Komering Ilir, Musi Manyuasin and Meranti regencies.

"We aim to manage peatland ecosystems covering 2 million hectares," Kompas.com quoted her as saying.