Jakarta. Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency, or BRG, is still far behind their target of restoring 2.4 million hectares of peatland in seven provinces — Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Papua — by 2020 due to the limited rights it has to restore peatlands within concession areas, an official at the agency said.
Budi S. Wardhana, deputy of planning and cooperation at BRG, said the agency has restored at least 200,000 hectares of degraded peatland in those provinces since it was founded in January 2016.
The agency has set a target of 1 million hectares of restored peatland by this year.
"We're still far away from our target. Because we can’t directly restore peatland in areas controlled by industrial forest concession holders," Budi said in Jakarta on Tuesday (31/10).
Budi said only licensors have the right to demand concession holders to restore degraded peatlands.
The agency will launch legal proceedings against concession holders in a bid to restore the degraded peatlands, he said.
"We can base the legal proceedings on our environmental law and forestry law, especially for those who hold permits to use peatland areas for production," Budi said.
"Concession holders carry land use permits, so they must be responsible to restore degraded peatlands in their concession areas," Budi said.
BRG — led by Nazir Foead, a former conservationist with the World Wide Fund (WWF) — was established by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in January last year to protect Indonesia's peatland ecosystems that are being threatened by yearly peatland fires.