Indonesia to restore damaged peat lands in five years

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia expects to restore two million hectares of peat lands, damaged by fires last year, within the next five years, presidential spokesman Johan Budi said here on Wednesday.

To achieve this aim, the Indonesian government has set up "Badan Restorasi Gambut (Peat Land Reatoration Agency - BRG), he said.

"It is hoped through this agency, the condition of peat land will be restored. The peat land would be restored to pre-fire state in around five years time," he said at the compound of the presidential palace.

Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, who accompanied President Joko Widodo during the announcement of the establishment of BRG at a press conference, earlier said that BRG is a non-structural body under the President, and accountable to him.

She said BRG will carry out coordination, and will help in effective restoration, planning and control. It will also ensure cooperation in these efforts.

The agency is also tasked with mapping and determining reserve zones and cultivation areas, implementing the construction of infrastructure and other means to restrict the zones and managing the burned peat areas.

"Ensuring familiarization and education as part of peat land restoration framework, supervision of implementation and maintenance of infrastructure in conversion lands fall in the ambit of the agency, as also other duties assigned by the President," he said.

The BRG will have a chief, a secretariat and four deputies.

"The BRG is supported by a technical steering team and an expert team. The technical steering team members include provincial governors and relevant deputies and director generals," she said.

The expert team members come from universities, research institutes, professionals and larger community.

"The BRGs tenure ends on December 31, 2020," she said.(*)

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