President Joko Widodo inspects a peatland clearing that was engulfed by fire in Kalimantan during September. (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

Joko to Issue Peat Management Regulation Before Attending Paris Climate Summit


NOVEMBER 25, 2015

Jakarta. In an attempt to revive damaged peatland in the country due to fires or overexploitation, President Joko Widodo will issue a regulation on peat management before leaving for Paris to attend the annual conference of parties on climate change in December.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said last week that she was drawing up a blueprint for nationwide restoration, rehabilitation and conservation of burned peat areas as part of the government's mitigation and prevention efforts.

She said Joko would sign off on a regulation, but it remains to be seen if the president will issue a government regulation or a presidential decree.

Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, chairman of Indonesia's steering committee on climate change, told reporters on Tuesday that Joko would use the drafted regulation as a diplomatic device during the Paris summit at which Indonesia will have to answer some tough questions regarding the recent wildfires disaster.

"What the government is currently preparing will give us boost to gain support domestically and internationally," Sarwono said in a meeting at the Environment and Forestry Ministry in Jakarta.

Indonesia recorded one of its worst fire seasons this year, with daily carbon dioxide emissions from the forest fires alone in October exceeding the total emissions from US economic activity.

Joko has been scheduled to leave for Paris on Nov. 30 to attend the 21st CoP organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

His presence is expected to back up Indonesia's target to reduce its carbon emission by 29 percent by 2030, as described in the country's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.