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Regional Peat Restoration Workshop - “The Role of Non-State Actors Toward a Sustainable Peat Management in Indonesia: Transformation, Progress, and Journey Forward”

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Background

The degradation of peatland in Southeast Asia has become a major international concern, with burning peat creating regular haze episodes and contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. For example, last year Indonesia emitted approximately 1043 million metric ton CO2eq emissions, the largest since the record breaking emissions of 1997. The huge emissions were a result of huge forests and land fires, largely caused by excessive peat conversion to plantations. Since last year’s massive forest fires, the restoration of degraded peatland has become a cornerstone of Indonesia’s strategy to prevent the recurrence of forest fires and haze.

In January 2016, President Jokowi established the Peatland Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut, or BRG), which has the ambitious goal of restoring two million hectares of peatland by 2020. This will entail mapping fire-prone provinces, increasing peatland water tables, creating alternative livelihoods for local communities, and investigating alternative crops for peatland.

The complexity of peat restoration has emphasized the importance of the role of non-state actors in supporting the government. A number of NGOs, universities, and private sectors has conducted peatland restoration activities, including in the BRG's priority provinces. These complement the efforts of TRG (Tim Restorasi Gambut), BRG’s network of partners that execute peat restoration projects on the ground.

The Workshop

It is in this context that the the Indonesian Conservation Communication Forum (FKKI), together with Singapore Institute for International Affairs (SIIA), are convening a half-day workshop called the Regional Peat Restoration Workshop.

This Regional Peat Restoration Workshop will be the first regional CSO-led workshop, in which representatives from CSOs, universities and private sectors from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore will discuss their ongoing peat restoration projects, landscape models, learning points, and areas that require further action and collaboration.

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Recap

Presentation materials and photos can be downloaded here.

The first panel discusses the development of peatland restoration with panelists from Greenpeace, Wetlands, WWF, Global Environment Centre Malaysia and the National University of Singapore, moderated by Pak Wahjudi Wardojo from The Nature Conservancy.

The panel concludes that peatland restoration activities have been widely implemented by CSO, with various challenges and solutions. Wetlands, for instance, has conducted rewetting, revegetation and community development. Further, the panel highlights the importance of conserving peatland with multi-stakeholders collaboration.

The second panel brought together speakers from Komunitas Konservasi Indonesia WARSI, APRIL, Yayasan Kehati, and IDH, moderated by Ibu Noviar Andayani from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The panel discusses restoration challenges at the landscape level and at the production level, the innovative financing initiatives for restoration, as well as the way to build partnership at the landscape level.

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