Govt set to form peat ecosystem restoration body

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is gearing up for the creation of peat ecosystem restoration body to restore peat land damaged in recent fires.

"We have just had a meeting led by the vice president to discuss preparations for the formation of peat ecosystem restoration body whose main task is to maintain (peat ecosystem) by receiving support from several ministries," Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said after a limited meeting at the Vice Presidential Office here on Tuesday.

She said good management and maintenance system is needed to restore the damaged peat land in the country by involving relevant government agencies and experts.

Therefore, the government is considering to set up a body to speed up the restoration of peat ecosystem.

"This body will restore the peat ecosystem on a self-reliant basis, meaning that no ministers can intervene in it. The body will employ professional workers. And the (environment and forestry) minister must work closely with the body," she said.

She said the body will be tasked with supervising and controlling activities in the field to restore the peat ecosystem.

The body will be made up of representatives from the Public Works and Housing Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the National Development Planning Agency and the Geospatial Information Body.

"Preparations have been made. As I am responsible for the Environment and Forestry Ministry , I have helped the initial preparations," she said.

The body will only focus on restoring the peat ecosystem, without having to make a plan for the prevention of land and forest fires.(*)