A conference on the ongoing crisis of deforestation and the degradation of peatland ecosystems in Indonesia was convened by the Riau Peatland Society Network, or JMGR, on Monday (06/11) to urge the government to support the organization.
JMGR was established in 2010 to prevent deforestation and peatland degradation amid increasing developments by players in the palm oil, pulp and paper and mining industries in the province.
According to organization, there are at least 4.044 million hectares of peatlands in Riau.
Isnadi Esman, secretary general of JMGR, said that the three-day conference is aimed at strengthening the commitment of communities who care about peatland protection, particularly in the province of Riau.
“In addition to peatland protection, we urge the government to empower the peatland society to boost [the province’s] economy,” Isnadi said in a statement.
Isnadi said JMGR represents a collection of communities that partners with the government to protect peatlands in the province.
The conference was opened by Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) head Nazir Foead in Pekanbaru, Riau.
Last week in Jakarta, a coalition of peatland protection institutions, along with researchers from several countries, issued the Jakarta Declaration aimed at encouraging the responsible management of tropical peatland ecosystems.