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Inclusive Planning for Peatland Restoration in Musi Banyuasin

By: Surahman Putra

As a Geospatial Information System (GIS) researcher for peatland restoration, I am responsible for mapping the peat areas that will enter the restoration plan. On one occasion, I was involved in the drafting of the Peatland Ecosystem Restoration Plan (RREG) in Musi Banyuasin Regency. RREG is a document that contains plans for the restoration and recovery of peat ecosystems damaged by land clearing that ignores water systems in peatlands. The compilation of the RREG document was assigned to WRI Indonesia, Wetlands Indonesia, and ICRAF by the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG).

At WRI Indonesia, researchers are trained to ensure the full involvement of all stakeholders in every activity we undertake. On this occasion, I immediately put into practice an inclusive plan that touches on all layers of community. In the process of developing this RREG document, I practiced it.

First, the development of RREG documents is inclusive at the provincial and district levels. The process of developing this plan begins with the collection of information and goals of district governments, private companies as well as civil society organizations. In this discussion, participants produced a vision and mission of peat restoration, which prioritize improving the welfare of people living on peatlands in Musi Banyuasin.

Second, when determining the mission, the RREG drafting process is also sensitive to gender dynamics in the district. For example, when voting to determine priorities and missions, women were given more votes than men. These votes come in the form of buttons. While the men got 10 blue buttons, the women got red buttons. From this process, it appeared that the men and women had almost the same priorities.

In the future, I hope there will be many more opportunities to practice the principle of inclusiveness in my work as a GIS specialist for sustainable development.

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