The Jakarta Post
Twenty-nine foreign delegates are attending the Bonn Challenge High-Level Roundtable Meeting in Palembang, South Sumatra, from Tuesday to Thursday, to discuss various environmental issues.
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world's deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350-million ha by 2030, as quoted from its official website, bonnchallenge.org.
Indonesia is the first Asian country to host the high-level environmental meeting since it was initiated in Bonn, Germany, in 2011.
South Sumatra, which serves as the host of the event, has one of the largest peatland areas in the country, however has experienced a number of catastrophic fires, damaging a large portion of its peatland. For example, in 1997, a fire ravaged around 50 percent of 769,000-ha of peatland in the region's Ogan Komering Ilir regency.
South Sumatra Governor Alex Nurdin said the province having been chosen as the host of the event showed the province had made strides in its efforts to restore damaged land.
He took the participants to 20-ha of peatland that had been restored. Twenty five types of plants are now growing on the peatland.
"It is hard for peatland to restore itself. Human involvement is required," Alex told journalists on Tuesday.