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Jakarta Post

Land swaps for peatland restoration?

  • Nirarta Samadhi and Lisa Johnston

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 12 2017   /  01:22 am

The government deserves high praise for its numerous commitments to protect and restore peatland over the past years.

At the start of this year, the Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK) announced Ministerial Regulation No. 40/2017 regarding government facilitation of Industrial Tree Concessions (HTI) within the framework of the management and protection of peat ecosystems.

While the 2016 regulation on the management and protection of peatland obligates the enterprises to protect peat areas under conservation status, the latter provides a compensation scheme for HTI companies by allowing them to seek a land swap — to obtain substitute land for their working areas that falls into conserved peat ecosystem category.

This ministerial regulation states that HTI concessions containing peatland of at least 40 percent or more under the conservation function may apply...