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STRUGGLING WITH THE PEATLAND

27 August 2014 , 12:20 WIB | Read : 1075 | By : Atep Yulianto Irawan

The more difficult to seek the area, the more palm oil doers seek peatland as the alternative to cultivate plantation or agriculture. It is normal if the peatland could be the agriculture or peatland areas. But the peatlands were not massively cultivated.

But the regulations in Indonesia which tighten the enlargement in the many kinds of area, peatland becomes the alternative. In addition there are many regions having peatland.

Referring to the data of Balai Besar Sumber Lahan Pertanian (BBSDLP) in 2011, the peatland areas in Indonesia were 14.906 millions of hectare spreading out in Sumatera about 6,437 millions hectare (43,2%), in Kalimantan 4,778 millions hectare (32,1%) and Papua about 3,691 millions hectare (24,8%)

Though the numbers of the peatland are available, there are some miscalculations for many national and international institutions make other different vasteness. For example, Peat CO2said, the national area reached about 19,1 to 22,5 millions hectare, International Peat Societynoted, the peatland area in Indonesia reached 16,8 to 27 millions hectares, International Mire Conservational Groupnoted, the peatland reached 20,6 millions hectare and others.

It means that the researches of peatland in Indonesia were done massively and sustainably to know the certain vastness.

Being suspected to enlarge peatland for plantation massively, many environmental non government organizations (NGOs) urge to prohibit the usage of peatland.

The reason, peatland is potential to reduce carbon emission highly. The accusation keeps rising for the fire happening in last five years commonly derives from the dry peatland.

Then is it true that peatland cannot be cultivated? Referring to the national regulation, cultivating peatland could be posibly done. For example, referring to the Regulation of Secretry of Agriculture No 14/ 2009 about the advantage of peatland for palm oil cultivation, peatland less than 3 meters could be done by terms and conditions.

It is same as the Draft of Government Regulation about the peatland ecosystem which the transcription of Regulation No 32 / 2009 about the protection and environment cultivation which is rumored to be announced officially before President SBY resigns. The regulation may permit to cultivate peatland if the requirements are done. The Draft Regulation about Water and Land Conservation is rumored to limit the peatland cultivation in sustainable ways to minimize the damage in the peatland.

Though there are many regulations to cultivate peatland, the environmental NGOs do not let the regulations be, for the campaigners think, the fire in the forest happens for the peatland cultivation is scrambledly done, especially in palm oil plantations.

Executive Director Wetlands International Indonesia, Nyoman N Suryadiputra said, palm oil is not the original plant in the peatland for it will get rotten if there are much water around it. “So the water in the peatland should be in drainase or flow it to the river,” he said in the RSPO media gathering on last June which InfoSAWIT also attended.

If so, peatland will be dry and easy to burn, oxidated, and ...

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