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Jakarta Post

RI’s outermost islands sinking under palm oil expansion

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 22 2016   /  09:08 am

Indonesia’s outer islands that have peatlands are at risk of sinking due to the aggressive expansion of palm oil plantations. This has prompted the government to try and restore the damaged peatland areas on the islands.

The Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), tasked with restoring damaged peatland for the next five years, said the country’s outer islands were on the agency’s list of priority areas to be restored.

In Riau Islands, there are some islands, listed as outer islands, that have peatlands such as Tebing Tinggi, Bengkalis and Rangsang, according to BRG planning and cooperation deputy head Budi Wardhana.

“We know that palm oil expansion has been massive. Therefore, the islands that I mentioned are at risk. Bengkalis Island, for instance, is supposed to have 65 percent of its area protected, but there are so many palm oil plantations there, whether conc...