JAKARTA — The management of peatlands in Indonesia is considered successful so that it becomes an example for other countries in the world. Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya brought this peatland diplomacy to a global level, especially at the Global Peatland Initiative’s Working Group Meeting in Brazaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.
For the success of Indonesia, Siti Nurbaya in the meeting was not only present as a regular participant, but also as a keynote speaker in ministerial dialogue at the international meeting. Siti Nurbaya proudly said that Indonesia, as the founder of the Asia-Africa movement, is ready to share experiences and help other countries to advance peat management through South-South and Triangular cooperation.
Indonesia is ready to roll out its plan to establish the International Research Center of Tropical Peat in Indonesia. She believed in the next few years, the world will recognize Indonesia’s peatlands as world archive. As a country with 15 million hectares of peatland, Indonesia certainly has the privilege of various peat ecosystems; ranging from coastal peat that is mostly found on the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua; peatlands in the Mahakam delta of East Kalimantan, Kapuas in West Kalimantan; to peatland in the highlands as in Papua. Similarly, peat swamps in Kalimantan bear a resemblance to the peat in the Congo.
Minister Siti succeeded in bringing Indonesia’s diplomacy for peat management to global level. Diplomatically, Minister Siti explained that the Indonesian Government learned very expensive lessons for the great peat land fires in 2015. The government responds through policies to control very tightly and thoroughly to minimize the recurrence of this incident. The result is fantastic, within two years from 2015 to 2017 Indonesia managed to reduce the fire spots as much as 93.6 percent.
This result proves the seriousness of President Joko Widodo in making the prevention of forest and peatland fires as national priority. The President succeeded in making the policies he took into effective action on the ground. “Strong cooperation between various parties, especially the involvement of the private sector becomes the key,” said Siti Nurbaya, in a press release on Wednesday (3/21/2018).
Global Peatland Initiatives (GPI) is a global initiative by several countries, international bodies and experts committed to keeping peatlands worldwide sustainable. Peatlands as the largest organic carbon reserves in the world should be maintained so as not to burn.