Three Ministries for Peatland Protection

Siaran Pers - 13 Mei, 2010
Greenpeace welcomes the Indonesian Forest Minister Mr. Zulfikili Hasan's statement that his Ministry will stop issuing permits for any further peatland clearance in Indonesia and is calling upon him to work together with the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture to turn his desire for peatland protection into legislative reality.

According to presidential decree (1) all areas of peat land greater than 3 meters deep should be protected, however at a media briefing this week Mr Zulfiki stated his support for the protection of all peatlands, including those less than one meter deep.

"Both the Forest and Agriculture Ministers have talked about the need for peatland protection this week.  To bring a halt to peatland destruction for pulp and paper, and palm oil plantations will be a massive step forward to achieve President Yudhoyono's commitment to reduce Indonesia's emissions by 41% by 2020," said Joko Arif, Greenpeace Forest Campaigner. "However this intention has to turn into real action immediately, as companies continue to clear and drain peatlandsincluding in areas violating the Presidential decree like the Kampar Peninsula."

Currently the Minister of Environment is reviewing the legislation on peatland and has a stronger mandate to instigate environmental audits, law enforcement, investigation, and administrative prosecution.

"The Minister for the Environment now has the mandate and compulsion to step in.  Working with the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, they can, and must, create a joint Ministerial Decree on peatland protection as an immediate step to stop ongoing peatland destruction before stronger peatland legislation is issued," said Arif.

Greenpeace is calling for full peatland protection and an immediate moratorium on deforestation as it would provide the space for the implementation of longer term measures for forest protection supported by international donors.  Furthermore, it will kickstart a planning process with local communities to identify non-forest, degraded areas where industries could potentially expand.

"With companies kicked off peatlands, the government can also work with communities and smallholders to develop sustainable alternatives for community livelihoods that doesn't mean peatland destruction or drainage," said Nur Hidayati, Indonesia Country Representative for Greenpeace.

Notes: [1] article 52 and 55 and Presidential Decree No. 32,1990,