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Jakarta Post

Narrow stress on 'rule of law' fails to protect peatland

  • Nirarta Samadhi and Dewi Tresya

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Jakarta   /   Thu, January 25, 2018   /  08:19 am
Narrow stress on 'rule of law' fails to protect peatland Burning peatland is seen in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. Uncontrolled peat fires can spread for kilometers underground and by air, causing a deadly smog. In 2015, this resulted in one of the greatest environmental disasters of the 21st century. (JP/Björn Vaughn)

It was a proud moment for Indonesia at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017, when world leaders, including former United States vice president Al Gore, praised Indonesia’s efforts to restore and protect peatland to mitigate climate change. Such efforts, led by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, are indeed strategic and critical, especially in the aftermath of the 2015 forest fires that mostly occurred in carbon-rich peatland. The fires led to 19 casualties, 500,000 people suffering from acute respiratory infections, disruption of classes for over 4 million students for a month and estimated losses of over Rp 220 trillion. The fires also released 1.62 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to emissions from nearly 350,000 vehicles throughout the year. Peatland restoration and protection efforts in Indonesia re...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.