Indonesia Speeds Up Peatland Restoration to Prevent Forest Fire

Jakarta, 22 Dzulqa’dah 1437/25 August 2016 (MINA) – The Indonesian government will beef up efforts to restore million hectares of peatland across the nation in a bid to prevent forest fire from happening and create business opportunities.

The government sets to offer foreign investors’ participation to restore over 6 million hectares peatlands which have been damaged partly by forest and agriculture fires, Xunhua quoted Nazir Foead, head of peatland restoration agency (BRG), as saying on Wednesday.

Nazir said that the participation is badly needed as the government is only capable of improving the quality of the land for 1 million hectare.

“For the last six months, we have talked with foreign investors, their interest in assisting the restoration is strong,” he said at the vice presidential office.

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The government would smooth the process of investing in the sector, including acceleration and simplification of the procedures for having license, he added.

Next month, Vice President Jusuf Kalla is to meet with foreign investors on the sidelines of the UN general assembly meeting, Nazir said.

Indonesia has regularly faced fires at peatland which creates more smokes than perennials forest.

The government has barred issuance of new license to open palm oil plantation at peatland following a massive forest fires last year, leaving 17 people dead.

Earlier this week, soldiers, police and firefighters have significantly doused over 200 forest fire hotspots in the country, according to the meteorology and geophysics agency. (T/R07/R01)

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Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)