Jakarta (ANTARA) - Community education is vital for sustainable peat restoration and mangrove rehabilitation, Deputy for Planning and Evaluation at the National Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency (BRGM), Satyawan Pudyatmoko, has said.

“(It is important to gauge whether) the community is ready or not (for carrying out rehabilitation), thus, the education of the community is the key to (achieving) sustainable rehabilitation for mangroves and peatlands," he informed at a media meeting here on Tuesday.

As per existing procedures, before carrying out rehabilitation, it is necessary to conduct a biogeophysical evaluation to ascertain whether an area can be rehabilitated, Pudyatmoko explained.

After that, it is essential to ensure the building of awareness on the subject among residents living around the area where mangrove rehabilitation is being carried out, he said.

If the community is not ready, the education department of BRGM is required to first conduct socialization related to rehabilitation and restoration efforts and about the importance of peat and mangroves for the environment and the people living in the area, he added.

Such preparation takes at least a year, and once there is consensus among the community, mangrove rehabilitation or peat restoration is executed, Pudyatmoko added.

The same thing was also conveyed by expert staff at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Trijoko M. Soleh Oedin, while making a presentation at the media event.

Positioning the community is one of the crucial steps that must be taken in peat restoration and mangrove rehabilitation, whether carried out by BRGM, the Environment and Forestry Ministry, or other ministries or institutions, he emphasized.

"How to position the community is also an important thing to do. Technocratically, (in case) the canal blocking (for water retention) has been built, but it is terrible (if) people are displaced," he explained.

For this reason, he said, educating the community about rehabilitation is one measure that can help change people's behaviors and prevent the practice of draining peat.

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Translator: Prisca V, Kenzu T
Editor: Sri Haryati
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