Pekanbaru (ANTARA) - Oil firm PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia and the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) developed a program of zero burning land clearing (PLTB) in 10 villages in the districts of Siak and Rokan Hilir in Riau Province.

Chief of BRG's Education and Socialization Working Group Suwignya Utama noted in a statement here on Saturday that the program will help farmers in the peatland area to manage their land through environment-friendly approaches.

"This will become a solution, and (the agency) will continue to encourage farmers to avoid the slash and burn practice in land clearance. Currently, 265 villages are involved in the pilot project of PLTB Program in Indonesia," Utama noted.

PT CPI's General Manager for Corporate Affairs Sukamto Tamrin stated that under this program, participants will receive training and mentoring on the application of environment-friendly agriculture technique with zero burning in land clearance.

"PT CPI has proactively supported the government's program to reduce land and forest fires. The PLTB program will not only be beneficial to the environment but it will also boost the people's economy through the agriculture sector, especially during the pandemic," Tamrin stated.

The 10 villages will also receive agriculture tools, such as chopping machines, water pumps, cutting tools, and hoe for land clearance.

The program was started with a training for farmers in October 22-26, followed by mentoring and monitoring in their respective villages.

The PLTB Program is part of PT CPI's social investment program in environment. Other programs conducted by the company are the Sumatran elephant preservation; garbage bank in Pekanbaru, Bengkalis, and Siak in cooperation with Lancang Kuning University; and mangrove conservation in cooperation with the Indonesian Nature Conservancy Foundation (YKAN). Related news: Ministry prepares strict sanctions on slash-and-burn farming
Related news: Government sees dramatic increase in forest fires in Aug-Sep


Translator: Bayu A Adha, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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