A Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on 27 July 2021 initiated the formulation process of Peat Ecosystem Protection and Management Plan (RPPEG) for Riau Province. Attended by the Governor of Riau, the initiation process was facilitated by the University of Riau (UNRI).
Riau Province is one of the Indonesian provinces that has a vast peat ecosystem. The peat ecosystem has hydrological and ecological function. It needs to be managed and protected from all forms of threats, so it can provide important economic benefit and improve environmental quality. These includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability of people's livelihood especially in Riau Province.
Due to the significance of protecting peat ecosystems, the Riau Provincial Government has established the Riau Province RPPEG Formulation Team on 30 June 2021 through the Riau Province Governor's Decree Number No 681/2021.
The team consisted of various parties including representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), representatives of the Peat and Mangrove Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut dan Mangrove/BRGM), Regional Apparatus Organizations (OPD) in Riau Province and experts from UNRI. The RPPEG team is tasked with compiling the Riau RPPEG documents in July to December 2021.
“Riau Province has always been committed to the protection and management of peat ecosystems. To optimize the preparation of Riau's RPPEG, we expect the contribution and commitment of multiple parties, such as the central government, regional governments, NGOs, business entities/companies, associations, media, and other parties, "said the Governor of Riau in his remarks.
The FGDs aimed at socializing the RPPEG preparation plan as well as verifying data and obtaining input from the concerning parties, so that the RPPEG will be comprehensive and in line with the actual conditions in the province. This is essential so that the peat protection and management efforts in Riau are optimized.
The FGD was also attended by speakers from MoEF and BRGM, namely: Deputy for Planning and Evaluation, Prof. Satyawan Pudyatmoko); Head of Sub-directorate of Planning for Peat Damage Control at the MoEH, Huda Achsani; and Head of the Working Group on Peat Restoration and Mangrove Rehabilitation Planning, Noviar.
The formulation of the RPPEG Riau was carried out in 59 Peat Hydrological Areas (KHG) in Riau Province spread over 11 districts and municipalities. The RPPEG document will later be stipulated in form of a Governor Regulation.
In the context of sustainable palm oil development, the RPPEG document can be used as a reference in spatial planning and plantation areas. This planning is crucial to minimize the use or expansion of oil palm land in protected areas such as peat areas. Of course, this is in line with the mandate of Presidential Instruction 6/2019 about the National Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil 2019-2024 related to environmental management and monitoring.
Members of community who have interest in peat issues in Riau Province can participate in the screening of RPPEG Riau issues by accessing the link http://my.unri.ad.id/Penjaringan_Isu_Gambut_Riau
Writing: Center for Environmental Studies - LPPM Riau University
Editing : UNDP SPOI Team