Government to set up peatland restoration agency next week: President

Paris (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has confirmed that the government will set up a peatland ecosystem restoration agency (BREG) next week to protect the peatland ecosystem and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

"Next week, it will be done for sure, so it will be formed," President Jokowi informed the press on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Change Conference, here, Monday.

Indonesia is committed to protecting its peatland areas, and therefore, it will revise old peatland concession licenses and not issue new licenses.

In his speech to several state leaders attending the conference, the president pointed out that the El Nino-induced drought in Indonesia had aggravated the condition of forest and peatland fires.

Indonesia managed to deal with the fires, although it was not easy, and the country has continued to implement legal enforcement measures against the perpetrators.

President Jokowi received a banner bearing the words "Dear Mr President, Save Forest and Peatland" from Greenpeace activists during a visit to the Indonesian pavilion in an exhibition held to coincide with the conference.

Greenpeace Indonesia campaigner Teguh Surya stated that some 253,800 hectares of Indonesias peatland areas were prone to conversion as they were located in industrial forest concession areas.

"Swift action is necessary to save the remaining peatland areas. We support Indonesias commitment," Surya emphasized.(*)

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