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Policy Aspect of Peatland Management in Indonesia

Hi, everyone!

I am Indri from THINK-Research Team. If you have not read my previous blogs about peatland, you can find them in these links:

Today, I will continue to write about the policy aspect of peatland management in Indonesia. As I mentioned in my previous posts, The Government of Indonesia formed the peatland restoration agency (BRG) in 2016. GoI renewed the organisation as the peatland and mangrove restoration agency (BRGM) in 2020. BRGM is the executor of land-based mitigation in the peatland sector. Through Presidential Regulation No. 57/2016 (later amended to Presidential Regulation No. 17/2014), the President of Indonesia mandated the formation of BRG. Besides, its role refers to Presidential Regulation No. 120/2020 on Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency (JDIH BPK RI, 2019). This agency is a cross-sectoral agency responsible for implementing programmes to conserve and restore degraded peat ecosystems and facilitate all sectors to implement peatland-friendly activities. In December 2020, BRG was extended to include mangrove (hence BRGM), another carbon-rich ecosystem. BRGM now works in 13 provinces adding six mangrove-rich provinces of North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Bangka-Belitung, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan and West Papua (Wardhana, 2021). I live in East Kalimantan, and I can go to the mangrove area just 5 minutes away from my home. I plan to write about mangrove in my next post.


So, if we want to know what the main policy in Indonesian peatland management is? Here it is. In the national context, the primary national policy that regulates peatland restoration is Law No. 32/2009 on Environmental Conservation and Management Law, including peatland conservation and management. There are also UNFCCC agreement and guidelines that the Government of Indonesia has ratified. Another international policy that was ratified in Indonesia is The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands originally aimed to preserve habitats for migratory birds. Ratification of The Convention on Biological Diversity, informally known as the Biodiversity Convention, is also one of the key policies that address peatland restoration (Wardhana, 2021). As I mentioned in my previous posts, peatland is crucial in the land-use sector. Since peat grows in wetland, it will store more carbon materials.

Other than that, if we want to know about the economic policy in this sector, at present, policies that regulate the economic value of carbon are not in place yet. Therefore, there is still no valuation of peatland restoration. However, based on REDD+, mitigation activities can reduce emissions while contributing to the local economy (result-based payments). Local communities can participate in restoring peatland and getting payments based on results (Armanto, 2021). In addition, many companies venture into a profitable carbon farming business from peatland restoration by trading their stored carbon in voluntary carbon markets. PT Rimba Makmur Utama is one of the private companies that run such a business. In Indonesia, there are 15 ecosystem restoration concessions dedicated to peatland-based carbon farming.

The last one, about the policy gap. The policy gap in the peatland sector is not about the management practices (in fact, most studies on tropical peatland were conducted in Indonesia) but rather about policies of instrumentations and tools, e.g. remote sensing and satellite imagery. There are very limited uses of those advanced instruments and tools. On the other hand, the government needs to ensure that local actors receive incentive proportionally to what they have implemented and improve the readiness of local governments to implement land-use mitigations.

I will stop here and see you in the next post! ^^

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