August 27, 2019

BRG revitalizing livelihoods from burned peatlands

JAKARTA ( - The Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) has delivered a demonstration plot for sustainable rice field development in 2015’s burned peatlands. This plot spans 60 hectares in a location in Central Kalimantan’s Pulang Pisau regency, one of four peat restoration priority regencies in Indonesia.

This deliverable has been highlighted by the first rice harvesting event in Tolio Hulu village, the location of the demonstration plot. Moreover, there are still another 60 hectares of rice fields in this village under development.

“The development of these rice fields forms part of the peat agency’s revitalization program for local livelihoods based on sustainable practices in 2015’s burned peatlands,” explained Peat Agency Chief Nazir Foead to at the location during its first harvesting (Aug 26). 

The photos below, taken by a video drone belonging to the peat agency at the time of the first harvesting event in the demonstration plot location, are situated in 2015’s burned peatlands.

Nazir pointed out that the peat agency had provided technical assistance such as agricultural guidance and advice in looking for suitable locations for developing the demonstration plot in question. Financial aid, among other things, was also provided, including with the support of UNOPS, he added. 

In addition to the 60-hectare demonstration plot which has already yielded its first harvest, another plot of the same size is being developed in 2015’s burned peatlands, as portrayed in the following photos.

"Sustainable practices in agriculture development such as these can be applied in various regions. Depending on local suitability, it could be done for rice, pineapple, sago and more,” the peat agency chief explained.

“This should also be seen as an important lesson learned in the revitalization of local livelihoods arising from restoration efforts undertaken in 2015’s burned peatlands,” he added. 

The two demonstration plot locations are among the failed ex-mega rice field project sites. Their revitalization for the enhancement of local livelihoods, he explained, is part of a collaboration between the peat agency, the Agriculture Ministry, and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing.

He went on to stress that efforts to revitalize local livelihoods are an indispensable component of peat restoration. Such efforts, he added, are being carried out in selected sites in Indonesia’s seven peat restoration priority provinces, in a way that adapts to the advantages of local commodities while remaining peat friendly.