Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - The Peatland Restoration Agency has targeted to restore a total of 140 thousand hectares of peatland areas in Riau Province this year, or an increase of over 400 percent than that in the previous year.

"We had restored a total of 27 thousand hectares of peatland areas last year. For this year, we have targeted to restore 140 thousand hectares of peatlands," Nazir Foead, the agency`s head, noted at a meeting with the Riau provincial government`s representatives here on Friday.

Foead expressed optimism that the target would be achieved owing to the involvement of various teams, including those from the Riau Peatland Restoration Agency and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

"I believe we can accomplish the target," he emphasized, adding that this year, Rp49.5 billion had been allocated for rewetting the peatland areas in Riau Province, or is higher than that of last year.

Riau, one of the provinces in Sumatra Island prone to forest and land fires, has some 4.8 million hectares of peatlands. However, the agency has targeted to restore 900 thousand hectares of peatland areas in Riau.

Last year, the Peatland Restoration Agency had assisted 75 villages and urban villages spread across seven targeted provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and Papua.

In order to support the restoration program, the agency has build several infrastructure, such as by drilling wells and building canals in the provinces of Jambi, Riau, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.

A total of over 200 thousand hectares of peatland areas located outside those owned by plantation companies had been rewet, he added.

Reported by FB Anggoro


Reporter: SYSTEM
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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