The government should revise the Government Regulation (GR) No. 57/ 2016 and 4 Regulations of Secretary of Environment and Forestry about the protection and the cultivation of peatland ecosystem so that it will be not negative for the smallholders in plantation sector. “If the peatland which the people have cultivated for decades, has changing function to be protected areas, where will they go,” Director of University of North Sumatera, Prof. DR. Untung Sitepu said in a workshop about the implication of GR no. 57 /2016 and GR 71/2014 within the theme “Mau kemana Industri Perkebunan di Lahan Gambut” in the university in Medan, recently.
So Sitepu hoped, the workshop could have some recommendations to revice the regulation to show the government’s side to the smallholders and to make palm oil productivity go forward and develop.
“The experts gather here to make the recommendations to conserve the peatland without making losses for the people. The academists are neutral and the knowledge is to give opinion about how to conserve the peatland without making loss for others,” the former dean of Law Department said in the release which InfoSAWIT got.
The plantation observer of ‘Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB)’, Sapta Raharja, thought, the regulation will have negative implication to the palm oil cultivation in the long term. Some chapters in the regulation tend to make palm oil come to an end slowly. In the long term, it will make economy issue for the local and national because of the decreasing productivity, and the multiple effect could stop the local economic development.
The social conflicts will raise for lots of people will loose their source of living and income for their families. “Now, at least, there are 340.000 smallholders depending on palm oil. They will not work anymore if 1,5- 1.7 million hectares of the peatland used to cultivate palm oil are changed to be protected region,” he said.