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
"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
"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:  article 52 and 55 and Presidential Decree No. 32,1990,