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Strengthening National Peat Society

Palangkaraya– national peat public meeting attended by representatives of Society of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua with the theme of strengthening the position and model of community management of peat in national policy (24-25 / 2/2015).

Indonesia’s peat swamp land area of ​​approximately 10.8% of Indonesia’s land area. Peat lands in Indonesia damaged so badly. Most of peat land in Indonesia has been converted into a large-scale industrial zones such as oil palm plantations, mining, industrial timber estates (HTI) and other development projects.

Expansion of large-scale industry and monoculture threatens the existence of more than 10 million people who live and depend on peat. Canalization conducted in peat lands by large-scale industrial causing peat becomes dry and loss of hydrological function.

Currently peat communities have difficulty regarding (1) Tenure for life, (2) Stigma stakeholders who says people are not able to manage peat lands, (3) The peats is seen as useless and unproductive land.

Exploitative development model imposed by granting concessions permits large-scale oil palm plantation sector, mining, industrial timber estates (HTI) and development projects over the public lands peat, peat causing loss of life and society bear the brunt of environmental degradation.

According Isnadi Esman, Secretary General JMGR (Peat Society Network of Riau), “Damage peat in Riau Province has been in a very severe level, from 4:06 Million extensive peat in Riau now only less than 1 Million Hectares. The Conversion of Industrial Plantation Forest (HTI) and oil palm plantations in large scale is the principal cause damage to the turf. This implies the loss of the right of life in the form of the sources of life, be it space management and peat forest communities depend on to live “. Mrs. Ane Bint Central Kalimantan society representatives expressed “Food Program Peat land (PLG) 1 million hectares in the 80s was not successful impact on the removal of the source of economic, ecological destruction, fires and floods easily. This is evidence of a failure in managing sustainable peat and also be a disaster for the people of peat in 5 districts in Central Kalimantan. “.

Meanwhile, Head of Division Peat Marelo Sudarto SPS (The Union of Sriwijaya Farmers) South Sumatra Saying “the public perceives the peat land is the land of life, while investment exploitative view peat land and peat as the government saw PAD”. According to Abdul Gani Kaize, representatives of the people of Papua “MIFFE project has caused people to lose their rights and access to land, as well as ecological damage, economic, social and even destructive to the Indigenous in Papua”.

While the Amron as Secretary General of the Network Society Jambi Peat says “70% of peat in Jambi province has been converted to plantation companies and oil palm plantations, causing a loss of economic resources in 133 village communities”. The objective conditions presented by representatives of several provinces indicate that there has been a systematic destruction of peat lands, structural and massive. In addition to the impact on the impoverishment of society. The statement above shows still a political exercise of the colonial legacy which does not recognize the existence of the community and the region in written form, it is a threat to society and their management area. Eviction to take the control of function public lands within the framework of development investments today said Joint Secretary (Joint Secretariat) Peat Society Network Sumatra, Albadri Arif (excerpted from the Joint Press Release Peat Society National Meeting, Palangkaraya 24-25 February 2015).***


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