Indonesia - November 2018
Following the 2018 Brazzaville declaration to promote better management and conservation of the world’s largest tropical peatlands, Indonesia, Congo and Peru, three countries with extensive tropical peatland areas, announced a collaboration to form the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC) in Jakarta. Indonesia will host an interim secretariat, coordinated by Ministry of Environment and Forestry and assisted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
The ITPC will serve as a hub to connect different stakeholders, coordinating and supporting collaborative international relationships in strategies and practices for tropical peatland management. It will also carry out and disseminate scientific research and become a center of excellence for tropical peatland research to support policy development and provide capacity building and technical services.
For the long-term plan until 2025, the center aims to govern peatland knowledge to ensure sustainable ecosystems and human well being for national and international benefits. This include harnessing economic and environmental values of peatlands such as tourism, growing betel nut and paddy, collecting medicinal plants, fishing and hunting across the three countries. In the first year, the center plans to consult all stakeholders to map challenges and opportunities, contributions and commitments and the establishment of the secretariat in Bogor, Indonesia. In 2019, the center will also begin research on broad aspects of peatland management and establishing demonstration plots in Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Peru.
Indonesia is currently at a corrective period, following intensive large-scale agriculture, draining, severe fires and haze that significantly degraded peatland areas. The country is rewetting over two million hectares of dried out peatlands. The private sector could be involved in the restoration efforts.
(Sources: International Tropical Peatland Center; Forest News; Tempo)