Palembang, S. Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Peat land restoration would cover around 594,231 hectares in South Sumatra this year to preserve the environment, a government official said.

The process of peat land restoration is to be completed in 2020, Head of the Regional Peat Land Restoration Team Najib Asmani said here on Tuesday.

Najib said the peat lands included in the restoration program are located in seven district areas such as Ogan Komering Ilir, Ogan Ilir, Banyuasin, Muaraenim, Penungkal Abab Lematang Ilir, Musi Banyuasin, and Musirawas.

The special staff of the Governor for Climate Change said the seven districts have wide peat lands.

He said the districts of Ogan Komering Ilir, Ogan Ilir, and Banyuasin are vulnerable to forest fires that will also ravage peat land.

Therefore, a long term preventive measure is necessary through restoration and moistening or dampening of peat lands, he said.

Forest fires have been a problem almost every year in South Sumatra. In 2015, big forest and bush fires hit the province sending thick smokes as far as neighboring countries, Malaysia and Singapore.

The restoration of wet peat lands is expected to help prevent forest fires .

Reporting by Ujang Idrus
Editing by A Saragih, Rahmad Nasution

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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