Minister urges corrective action from companies in peat governance 

(foresthints.news) - Corrective action from the corporate sector, in particular forestry and palm oil companies, is a mandatory requirement that must be prioritized in order for these companies to play a role in achieving peat governance that is optimally linked to their business.

For this reason, we are not only working to eliminate peat fires and haze, but are doing much more than just that - creating and strengthening a new and powerful form of peat governance which is capable of addressing short to long-term problems.

These key points of substance were conveyed by Dr Siti Nurbaya, Indonesia's Minister of the Environment and Forestry, in a discussion at her official residence in Jakarta (Jun 25).

“The President is constantly reminding us that the new peat regulations should now give rise to a new and strong form of peat governance which will last for generations,” the minister explained.

She went on to say that this new and strong type of peat governance will not simply arise by itself, but requires great endeavor. The minister urged the corporate sector to play a part in creating a new and strong peat governance process in Indonesia.

“We must not think about sticking with business-as-usual practices. Instead, we need to work together towards solutions for achieving an optimal point of peat governance,” Minister Siti Nurbaya stressed.

The following photos show a giant pulpwood company which was caught undertaking new peat development in Sumatra Riau’s Kampar Peninsula landscape. As a consequence of this, the ministry was forced to take law enforcement measures in this case.

The corrective action expected from the corporate sector, the minister added, has to start with a willingness on their part to implement the new peat regulations.

“If they are still looking for ways to avoid implementing the new peat regulations, it means that they are not seeking an optimal point of peat governance. If this is the case, the government has no other choice but to take the law enforcement approach,” the minister warned.

Concrete corrective action required

The Environment and Forestry Minister pointed out that as of now forestry and palm oil companies are still putting forward proposals requesting that new peat development, such as new canal construction and new planting, be tolerated.

 “These proposals for new peat development indicate that the companies are still not prepared to take appropriate corrective action,” the minister asserted.

The photos below depict the new canal construction that a giant pulp company was caught red-handed doing by the ministry in its concession located in Sumatra Riau’s Giam Siak-Bukit Batu landscape. The ministry has since taken clear law enforcement steps against the company concerned.

“Concrete corrective action from forestry and palm oil companies is essential. Don’t bother giving solutions to the government which, in essence, only seek to sustain business-as-usual practices,” she emphasized.

The signature of President Joko Widodo on the newly-revised peat regulation in early December last year provides his directive to create a new and strong form of peat governance with an extremely solid and fundamental legal basis.