Friday, December 14, 2007

Agriculture Minister: Stop Permit Issue on Peat Land

NUSA DUA, Bali: Agriculture Department of Indonesia asked whole local government to stop issuing permit on behalf of peat land management due to evaluation which will be conduct on existing permit.

Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said that the request has been distributed last two weeks, due to protest against peat land management in Indonesia which increasing carbon emission.

"For Temporary, we stopped the use of peat land. Meanwhile we evaluate the existing permit, is it include in the sustainable criteria or not," he said yesterday.

The important role of the existing of peat land is felt especially in case of carbon storage more then 30% of terrestrial carbon, has important role for hydrological cycles and maintain specific biodiversity.

The world peat land wide is about 38 million hectares with more than 50 % is in Indonesia. Indonesia’s peat land wide is estimated about 26 million hectares. Almost all peat supply located out side of java island which targeted as transmigration area, distributed in Sumatera 8,9 million hectares, Kalimantan 6,3 million hectares and Papua 10,9 million hectares.

In Sumatera, most of the peat land is located at east coast, and in Kalimantan located at West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan. At those areas transmigration program is being directed. Location condition and peat distribution has causing Employment and Transmigration Department difficult to avoid the peat land as the area for transmigration development.

Agriculture Minister said during the exploitation of peat land in Indonesia, it only allowed for peat land below 3 meters thick. However Anton didn’t mention about the regulation fully followed by the parties who manage the peat forest.

He also mentioned about prohibition on peat land use which will be arrange by the central government, if this matter judged more effective compared to the local government regulation.

"Because many concerns on peat land problems, many say not sustainable. Due to this matter, we recommend for no more permit issue for peat land use. It has been asked to each local authority," he said.

Mean while, Chairman of Indonesian Delegation Mr. Emil Salim asked all integrated companies to Pulp and Paper Company to stop using peat land in their operation. He said that in a discussion which took place last Tuesday.

In the other hand, Forestry Minister Mr. M.S. Kaban said that peat land matter has been accommodated in REDD mechanism scheme. REDD (reducing emission from deforestation in developing countries) is a scheme of incentive issue from industrial countries to developing countries in order to reduce deforestation rate.

Especially for Indonesia according to Kaban, the government has provided special rules regarding the use of peat land through Government Regulation (PP).

"Through PP we will encourage sustainable forest management. Specifically, this Government Regulation prohibit the use of deep peat land," he said. (

By Yeni H. Simanjuntak
Bisnis Indonesia

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