Madani

Tentang Kami

INDONESIA BRACES FOR RETURN OF FIRE SEASON AS HOTSPOTS FLARE UP

INDONESIA BRACES FOR RETURN OF FIRE SEASON AS HOTSPOTS FLARE UP

Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, said he was confident the BRG was doing its job, but that there was no way for the public to verify whether it was having any effect.


JAKARTA — Forest fires are underway in Indonesia as the rainy season tails off, marking the return of potentially widespread burning that threatens to once again blanket parts of the country in a toxic haze and belch out huge volumes of carbon dioxide.

Authorities reported that fires had flared up in the two Sumatran provinces of Riau and South Sumatra, and in the Bornean provinces of West and Central Kalimantan. Twenty-three of the 90 hotspots recorded across the country were in West Kalimantan, where thick smoke blanketed the provincial capital Pontianak and disrupted flights.

In Riau, one of the hardest-hit regions during the particularly disastrous 2015 season, fires have razed 6.4 square kilometers (2.5 square miles) of land, an area double that of New York’s Central Park.

All four affected provinces have declared a state of emergency. This will allow them “better access [to resources] to combat forest fires,” including firefighters and funding from the central government, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

The state of emergency in Riau and Central Kalimantan will run until May, while in South Sumatra and West Kalimantan it will be maintained until October and December, respectively.

Threat to Asian Games

Authorities are particularly concerned about the return of the fire season this year, when Indonesia will host tens of thousands of athletes and visitors for the Asian Games that run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2. The event will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, the capital of fire-hit South Sumatra.

The selection of Palembang as a host city has long been deemed risky, given the propensity for fires in the region. Forty-four percent of land and forest fires in Indonesia since 2011 have occurred in the provinces of South Sumatra, Riau and Central Kalimantan, according to analysis by the think-tank World Resources Institute (WRI).

Nearly all these fires are human-caused, sparked in large part by slash-and-burn clearing of forests to make way for oil palm and pulpwood plantations. The draining of carbon-rich peat swamps, rendering them highly combustible, also serves to accelerate the spread of fires and intensifies the burning and haze. Combined with the onset of the dry season, the fires can quickly grow out of control and spread.

This year’s dry season for the southern region of Sumatra is expected to take hold from June until September, coinciding with the Asian Games. It’s during this period that the fires will intensify, Sutopo said.

The threat has compelled President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to instruct all authorities to prepare for the worst.

“Don’t let this event be marred by haze and forest fires that will hurt [our] image and disrupt flights,” he said in a meeting in Jakarta in early February. “We have to work hard so that the Asian Games run smoothly without any problems from forest fires.”

He also repeated a warning he first made in 2016 to fire officials from the military and the police to be on top of their game.

“If there are fires in your regions and they’re not handled well, the rule is still the same: dismissal,” Jokowi told the officials gathered at the meeting.

Preventive measures

Some safeguards have been put in place since 2015 to prevent a repeat of the devastating fires that year that razed huge swaths of land and generated some of the worst haze on record. Smoke from the fires sickened half a million Indonesians, per government estimates, and drifted into neighboring countries. At the height of the disaster, the daily emissions of carbon dioxide as a result of the burning exceeded those from all U.S. economic activity.

Among the fire-prevention policies that have been issued since then are a nationwide ban on clearing peatlands; the establishment of community-based fire prevention initiatives; and a requirement for companies to protect and preserve carbon-rich peatlands that fall within their concessions.

The government also plans to restore 20,000 square kilometers (7,720 square miles) of drained peatlands across the country by 2020. The idea is that rewetting the peatlands will make them less likely to catch fire.

To lead the nationwide efforts, Jokowi established the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) in early 2016. By the end of 2017, the agency had overseen the rewetting of 2,000 square kilometers of peatland, half by itself and the other half by NGOs and companies.

Environmental activists have questioned the effectiveness of the BRG’s work, citing a lack of transparency.

Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, said he was confident the BRG was doing its job, but that there was no way for the public to verify whether it was having any effect.

“For the restoration work to be effective, the location has to be on point,” he said. “Who determines the location, and what’s the [restoration] method? If the determination of the location is done carelessly, then it’ll fail. The president has to check: if the peatlands have been rewetted, where are they located?”

This year already, there have been fire reports in at least two areas that the BRG claims to have restored. One is in Lukun village in Riau province, where fires have been burning since Feb. 9. The BRG says the fires are not in areas where it has blocked peat drainage canals, but instead are located in nearby sago plantations.

The second report of fires is also in Riau, in the village of Mundam, where the BRG has built 12 canal-blocking units, according to Teguh. BRG head Nazir Foead was scheduled to visit the area on Feb. 23 to verify the report.

As part of its wider plans, the BRG says it is in the process of checking the fire-prevention infrastructure it has already built, to gauge whether it’s working as intended, Nazir said.

“We’ll fix them immediately if there’s anything broken,” he told Mongabay at his office in Jakarta. “And we’ll see the fire spots and how far they’re located from the rewetting infrastructure that we’ve built. If the infrastructure is deemed insufficient, then we’ll build more.”

In an attempt to monitor the progress of peat restoration efforts in the country, Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan and other NGOs and think tanks, including WRI Indonesia, have set up an online platform called Pantau Gambut, which features an interactive map onto which various data points can be overlaid. These include hotspots, oil palm and pulpwood plantations, and the BRG’s own map.

“Without adequate public monitoring, it’s impossible for the [peat restoration] target to be achieved because there’s no sense of ownership,” Teguh said.

Lessons from 2015

Rewetting peatland is a far more effective means of tackling the fire issue than deploying firefighters to put out blazes once they start, Teguh said. He pointed to the biomass- and carbon-rich nature of peatland that made it particularly combustible, as well as the remote location of much of Indonesia’s peat forests that make it virtually impossible to contain the spread of fires, as was the case in 2015.Firefighters sent to put out the blaze in Lukun village faced this problem too, according to Raffles B. Panjaitan, the director of fire mitigation at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Just to reach the location required traveling several hours by boat.

“With no clean water, they had to use water from the peatland,” Raffles said in a statement. “And they had to walk for about 1.5 kilometers [1 mile] from where they were staying to reach the fires.”

Elim Sritaba, the director of sustainability and stakeholder engagement at Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which operates vast pulpwood plantations, said the company faced a similar experience when dealing with the 2015 forest fires. APP, Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper producer, was blamed for much of the fires that enshrouded the region that year.

In anticipation of this year’s fire season and the threat it poses to the Asian Games, Elim said APP would focus its attention on Ogan Komering Ilir district, a peat region in South Sumatra where the firm has invested in a massive new pulp mill.

“We’re also increasing our investment. Our fire department asked for a $2 million increase in budget,” she told Mongabay at her office in Jakarta. “They wanted to increase the number of patrol towers and we also wanted to install cameras in some high-risk spots.”

Elim said the company had not been prepared for the sheer scale of the fires in 2015, which she said came from outside APP’s concessions and were supercharged by strong winds and the El Niño weather cycle.

“In 2015, the wind was so strong and because it was dry, the wind turned into a cyclone,” she said. “By the time the fires came [to our concessions], they were 2 kilometers [1.2 miles] in width and 1 kilometer [0.6 miles] in height. And the fires were circling. So our fire experts told us that not even the best firefighters could extinguish a fire that big, only God could.”

Source: Mongabay.com, February 26, 2018.

Related Article

Indonesia Braces for Return of Fire Season as Hotspots Flare Up

Indonesia Braces for Return of Fire Season as Hotspots Flare Up

Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, said he was confident the BRG was doing its job, but that there was no way for the public to verify whether it was having any effect.

JAKARTA — Forest fires are underway in Indonesia as the rainy season tails off, marking the return of potentially widespread burning that threatens to once again blanket parts of the country in a toxic haze and belch out huge volumes of carbon dioxide.

Authorities reported that fires had flared up in the two Sumatran provinces of Riau and South Sumatra, and in the Bornean provinces of West and Central Kalimantan. Twenty-three of the 90 hotspots recorded across the country were in West Kalimantan, where thick smoke blanketed the provincial capital Pontianak and disrupted flights.

In Riau, one of the hardest-hit regions during the particularly disastrous 2015 season, fires have razed 6.4 square kilometers (2.5 square miles) of land, an area double that of New York’s Central Park.

All four affected provinces have declared a state of emergency. This will allow them “better access [to resources] to combat forest fires,” including firefighters and funding from the central government, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

The state of emergency in Riau and Central Kalimantan will run until May, while in South Sumatra and West Kalimantan it will be maintained until October and December, respectively.

Threat to Asian Games

Authorities are particularly concerned about the return of the fire season this year, when Indonesia will host tens of thousands of athletes and visitors for the Asian Games that run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2. The event will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, the capital of fire-hit South Sumatra.

The selection of Palembang as a host city has long been deemed risky, given the propensity for fires in the region. Forty-four percent of land and forest fires in Indonesia since 2011 have occurred in the provinces of South Sumatra, Riau and Central Kalimantan, according to analysis by the think-tank World Resources Institute (WRI).

Nearly all these fires are human-caused, sparked in large part by slash-and-burn clearing of forests to make way for oil palm and pulpwood plantations. The draining of carbon-rich peat swamps, rendering them highly combustible, also serves to accelerate the spread of fires and intensifies the burning and haze. Combined with the onset of the dry season, the fires can quickly grow out of control and spread.

This year’s dry season for the southern region of Sumatra is expected to take hold from June until September, coinciding with the Asian Games. It’s during this period that the fires will intensify, Sutopo said.

The threat has compelled President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to instruct all authorities to prepare for the worst.

“Don’t let this event be marred by haze and forest fires that will hurt [our] image and disrupt flights,” he said in a meeting in Jakarta in early February. “We have to work hard so that the Asian Games run smoothly without any problems from forest fires.”

He also repeated a warning he first made in 2016 to fire officials from the military and the police to be on top of their game.

“If there are fires in your regions and they’re not handled well, the rule is still the same: dismissal,” Jokowi told the officials gathered at the meeting.

Preventive measures

Some safeguards have been put in place since 2015 to prevent a repeat of the devastating fires that year that razed huge swaths of land and generated some of the worst haze on record. Smoke from the fires sickened half a million Indonesians, per government estimates, and drifted into neighboring countries. At the height of the disaster, the daily emissions of carbon dioxide as a result of the burning exceeded those from all U.S. economic activity.

Among the fire-prevention policies that have been issued since then are a nationwide ban on clearing peatlands; the establishment of community-based fire prevention initiatives; and a requirement for companies to protect and preserve carbon-rich peatlands that fall within their concessions.

The government also plans to restore 20,000 square kilometers (7,720 square miles) of drained peatlands across the country by 2020. The idea is that rewetting the peatlands will make them less likely to catch fire.

To lead the nationwide efforts, Jokowi established the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) in early 2016. By the end of 2017, the agency had overseen the rewetting of 2,000 square kilometers of peatland, half by itself and the other half by NGOs and companies.

Environmental activists have questioned the effectiveness of the BRG’s work, citing a lack of transparency.

Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, said he was confident the BRG was doing its job, but that there was no way for the public to verify whether it was having any effect.

“For the restoration work to be effective, the location has to be on point,” he said. “Who determines the location, and what’s the [restoration] method? If the determination of the location is done carelessly, then it’ll fail. The president has to check: if the peatlands have been rewetted, where are they located?”

This year already, there have been fire reports in at least two areas that the BRG claims to have restored. One is in Lukun village in Riau province, where fires have been burning since Feb. 9. The BRG says the fires are not in areas where it has blocked peat drainage canals, but instead are located in nearby sago plantations.

The second report of fires is also in Riau, in the village of Mundam, where the BRG has built 12 canal-blocking units, according to Teguh. BRG head Nazir Foead was scheduled to visit the area on Feb. 23 to verify the report.

As part of its wider plans, the BRG says it is in the process of checking the fire-prevention infrastructure it has already built, to gauge whether it’s working as intended, Nazir said.

“We’ll fix them immediately if there’s anything broken,” he told Mongabay at his office in Jakarta. “And we’ll see the fire spots and how far they’re located from the rewetting infrastructure that we’ve built. If the infrastructure is deemed insufficient, then we’ll build more.”

In an attempt to monitor the progress of peat restoration efforts in the country, Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan and other NGOs and think tanks, including WRI Indonesia, have set up an online platform called Pantau Gambut, which features an interactive map onto which various data points can be overlaid. These include hotspots, oil palm and pulpwood plantations, and the BRG’s own map.

“Without adequate public monitoring, it’s impossible for the [peat restoration] target to be achieved because there’s no sense of ownership,” Teguh said.

Lessons from 2015

Rewetting peatland is a far more effective means of tackling the fire issue than deploying firefighters to put out blazes once they start, Teguh said. He pointed to the biomass- and carbon-rich nature of peatland that made it particularly combustible, as well as the remote location of much of Indonesia’s peat forests that make it virtually impossible to contain the spread of fires, as was the case in 2015.Firefighters sent to put out the blaze in Lukun village faced this problem too, according to Raffles B. Panjaitan, the director of fire mitigation at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Just to reach the location required traveling several hours by boat.

“With no clean water, they had to use water from the peatland,” Raffles said in a statement. “And they had to walk for about 1.5 kilometers [1 mile] from where they were staying to reach the fires.”

Elim Sritaba, the director of sustainability and stakeholder engagement at Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which operates vast pulpwood plantations, said the company faced a similar experience when dealing with the 2015 forest fires. APP, Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper producer, was blamed for much of the fires that enshrouded the region that year.

In anticipation of this year’s fire season and the threat it poses to the Asian Games, Elim said APP would focus its attention on Ogan Komering Ilir district, a peat region in South Sumatra where the firm has invested in a massive new pulp mill.

“We’re also increasing our investment. Our fire department asked for a $2 million increase in budget,” she told Mongabay at her office in Jakarta. “They wanted to increase the number of patrol towers and we also wanted to install cameras in some high-risk spots.”

Elim said the company had not been prepared for the sheer scale of the fires in 2015, which she said came from outside APP’s concessions and were supercharged by strong winds and the El Niño weather cycle.

“In 2015, the wind was so strong and because it was dry, the wind turned into a cyclone,” she said. “By the time the fires came [to our concessions], they were 2 kilometers [1.2 miles] in width and 1 kilometer [0.6 miles] in height. And the fires were circling. So our fire experts told us that not even the best firefighters could extinguish a fire that big, only God could.”

Source: Mongabay.com, February 26, 2018.

Related Article

How Local Elections Could Ruin Asian Games in Palembang

How Local Elections Could Ruin Asian Games in Palembang

Teguh said fires were still looming large in South Sumatra – where peatlands are concentrated in Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin regencies — partly because there had been no signs of significant peatland restoration by the BRG in the province.

The city of Palembang in South of Sumatra will co-host the Asian Games from August to September and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered his aides and regional officials to focus on preventing the worst thing that could happen in the province at that time: major forest and land fires.

The haze resulting from raging fires would seriously disrupt the prestigious sporting event and put Indonesia’s reputation as the host on the line.

While the number of land and forest fires has significantly decreased in the past two years, with Jakarta issuing a number of fire prevention policies following the deadly 2015 fires, scientists say we may still need to worry that major fires could occur at around the time of the Games.

One of the reasons is that the country will be holding regional elections in June, only two months before the Games kick off.

Riau and South Sumatra were the most affected by recent forest and land fires on Sumatra. This year, the two provinces and some municipalities and regencies within them are set to elect new leaders.

The problem is that law enforcement against the people responsible for forest fires will be compromised during regional elections, said Herry Purnomo, a Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientist.

This was the conclusion he made based on a study he conducted with fellow CIFOR researchers in 2015.

“Regional leaders tend to ease law enforcement against perpetrators who happen to be their constituents in order to secure votes in the election,” said Herry, who is also a professor at the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB).

The study found that the occurrence of major forest and land fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, two islands rich with peat swamp forests prone to fire, during the 2000-2015 period, had coincided with regional elections in the two areas. “This is my foremost worry,” Herry said, referring to the potential for lax control over those who start fires during ahead of and during the regional elections.

In general, people have become more knowledgeable about fire prevention, especially by not clearing land for agricultural purposes by setting fire to it. Smallholders have begun complying with regulations, while big companies have started to meet their sustainability obligations as they fear having their business permits revoked.

However, Herry said the stern approach had less of an influence on another group of culprits: middle-scale farmers, who can be found across Sumatra, including in South Sumatra.

“This group is not daunted by the threat that faces big companies. They don’t fear a legal case if they clear land with fire because basically they are not registered as legal entities,” Herry said.

In the aftermath of the 2015 fires, which ravaged 640,000 hectares of forest and land in South Sumatra alone, attention was centered on the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), established by Jokowi to restore 2 million ha of peatland by 2020 in seven provinces, including the province.

However, experts have said there has been no significant progress in peatland restoration efforts, blaming BRG’s lack of authority on the ground, especially in dealing with companies that some experts claim have allies in line ministries.

“Restoring peatland to its wet condition is a significant aspect in fire prevention,” said Teguh Surya, a researcher with the Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, an NGO that focuses on forest and land management.

Teguh said fires were still looming large in South Sumatra – where peatlands are concentrated in Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin regencies — partly because there had been no signs of significant peatland restoration by the BRG in the province. He added that the agency had never publicly revealed how much peatland it had restored there.

South Sumatra and Riau, meanwhile, have begun preparing for potential forest and land fires this year, mostly related to fire mitigation efforts.

The South Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has requested additional helicopters from Jakarta to be used to extinguish fires, while the Riau administration has considered declaring a state of emergency in the province to anticipate possible fires this year.

“South Sumatra has only five helicopters, which is insufficient. Moreover, the province will host the Asian Games in August, which could the one of the hottest periods [in 2018],” South Sumatra BPBD head Iriansyah said in December last year as quoted by Antara.

Palembang will host 10 sporting events, including women’s soccer, men’s soccer, basketball, a triathlon, shooting and sepak takraw competitions. (ahw)

Source: The Jakarta Post, February 14, 2018.

Related Article

Data Restorasi agar Terbuka

Data Restorasi agar Terbuka

Muhammad Teguh Surya, Direktur Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, Selasa (13/2), di Jakarta, mewakili 20 jejaring kelompok masyarakat sipil di 8 provinsi yang memiliki gambut, mengenalkan situs pantaugambut.id. Situs itu berisi peta, data, dan informasi terkait gambut dan restorasinya sebagai sarana kanal informasi bagi masyarakat terkait perkembangan restorasi gambut. Masyarakat membutuhkan informasi perkembangan dua tahun restorasi gambut pascakebakaran hutan dan lahan 2015. Pemerintah diminta membuka data dan peta terkait.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS Sejumlah 20 kelompok masyarakat sipil dari 8 provinsi di Indonesia, dalam Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut, membangun kanal informasi daring sebagai dukungan pada restorasi gambut yang dikerjakan pemerintah dua tahun terakhir.

Kanal informasi dalam pantaugambut.id berisi antara lain peta perkembangan restorasi gambut untuk menjembatani upaya pemerintah yang belum menuntaskan kebijakan satu peta. Namun, data itu belum memasukkan perkembangan restorasi yang digarap di bawah supervisi Badan Restorasi Gambut (BRG) serta Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (KLHK).

Simpul Jaringan kesulitan mendapat data dan peta itu. Karena upaya restorasi belum dibuka ke publik, rasa memiliki terhadap pekerjaan besar membasahi kembali gambut jadi tak terbentuk. Temuan Simpul Jaringan, masyarakat awam di lokasi restorasi kerap tak mengetahui pengerjaan restorasi di daerahnya. Bahkan ada temuan, proyek restorasi hanya jadi pekerjaan kaum elite desa.

”Dua tahun berjalan, tak ada ownership agenda restorasi di publik. Masih terkesan proyek. Tanpa partisipasi publik, hambatan akan amat banyak,” kata Muhammad Teguh Surya, Direktur Eksekutif Yayasan Madani, perwakilan dari Simpul Jaringan, Selasa (13/2), saat mengenalkan kanal pantaugambut.id kepada media. Ia mencontohkan, lokasi-lokasi restorasi gambut seluas 2,4 juta hektar di 7 provinsi, 60 persennya berada di area konsesi perusahaan kebun kayu (hutan tanaman industri) dan kebun sawit. Meski sebagian dari mereka telah merencanakan pembasahan areal kebunnya yang bergambut, komitmen itu perlu dikawal masyarakat agar berjalan di lapangan.

Teguh Surya menunjukkan pernyataan BRG yang berhasil merestorasi 1,18 juta ha lahan meliputi area pembasahan 202.454 ha dan 75 desa peduli gambut. Namun, lokasi-lokasi rinci kegiatan itu hingga kini belum diketahui publik.

”Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut kesulitan mengakses informasi rinci restorasi gambut. Kami memerlukan lokasi rinci intervensi BRG untuk melaksanakan verifikasi dampak restorasi,” kata Sarah Agustiorini, Juru Kampanye Kaoem Telapak. Selain itu, KLHK perlu menyediakan data publik tentang perusahaan yang harus melakukan restorasi dan telah menyampaikan revisi rencana kerja usaha (RKU).

Menanggapi hal itu, Kepala BRG Nazir Foead mengatakan, laporan perkembangan restorasi 2017 sedang dalam tahap penyelesaian. Pada akhir Januari 2018 timnya masih melaksanakan verifikasi pengerjaan restorasi, seperti pemasangan sumur bor dan sekat kanal.

”Dalam waktu dekat, laporan ini selesai karena tinggal editing. Di dalamnya, ada laporan kerja restorasi yang dikerjakan mitra lembaga swadaya masyarakat, masyarakat, dan sebagainya,” katanya. Laporan ini dipastikan akan dibuka kepada publik, termasuk peta dan data-data terkait.

Sementara terkait pengerjaan restorasi di area konsesi, BRG dan KLHK masih tahap penyelesaian revisi RKU para pengelola HTI di area gambut. Tahun ini, restorasi berupa pembasahan gambut di area konsesi berjalan efektif karena tercantum dalam revisi RKU.

Puji kemajuan
Meski mengkritik restorasi gambut yang berjalan, Simpul Jaringan memuji beberapa langkah BRG dan KLHK dua tahun terakhir. Salah satunya adalah pemetaan LiDAR (berbasis laser) di empat kabupaten prioritas.

”LiDAR (skala 1:2.500) jadi terobosan dalam menjawab tantangan restorasi gambut. Sebab, BRG masih memakai peta berskala 1:250.000 dalam menentukan prioritas restorasi di tujuh provinsi,” kata Clorinda Kurnia Wibowo, Analis Penelitian World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia.

Kemajuan lain, ialah pemerintah berhasil meninjau ulang izin usaha di atas lahan gambut dengan merevisi RKU bagi pemegang konsesi HTI dan rencana pembasahan kepada pekebun kelapa sawit. Simpul Jaringan menyatakan, kemajuan ini akan berjalan di lapangan bila data perusahaan dan RKU perusahaan dibuka ke publik.

”Jadi, publik bisa melihat arahan restorasi yang harus dilakukan pelaku usaha, lalu memantau pelaksanaannya di lapangan,” ujarnya. (ICH)

Sumber: Kompas cetak, 14 Februari 2018. Halaman 14.

Related Article

HOW LOCAL ELECTIONS COULD RUIN ASIAN GAMES IN PALEMBANG

HOW LOCAL ELECTIONS COULD RUIN ASIAN GAMES IN PALEMBANG

 


Teguh said fires were still looming large in South Sumatra – where peatlands are concentrated in Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin regencies — partly because there had been no signs of significant peatland restoration by the BRG in the province.

The city of Palembang in South of Sumatra will co-host the Asian Games from August to September and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered his aides and regional officials to focus on preventing the worst thing that could happen in the province at that time: major forest and land fires.

The haze resulting from raging fires would seriously disrupt the prestigious sporting event and put Indonesia’s reputation as the host on the line.

While the number of land and forest fires has significantly decreased in the past two years, with Jakarta issuing a number of fire prevention policies following the deadly 2015 fires, scientists say we may still need to worry that major fires could occur at around the time of the Games.

One of the reasons is that the country will be holding regional elections in June, only two months before the Games kick off.

Riau and South Sumatra were the most affected by recent forest and land fires on Sumatra. This year, the two provinces and some municipalities and regencies within them are set to elect new leaders.

The problem is that law enforcement against the people responsible for forest fires will be compromised during regional elections, said Herry Purnomo, a Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientist.

This was the conclusion he made based on a study he conducted with fellow CIFOR researchers in 2015.

“Regional leaders tend to ease law enforcement against perpetrators who happen to be their constituents in order to secure votes in the election,” said Herry, who is also a professor at the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB).

The study found that the occurrence of major forest and land fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, two islands rich with peat swamp forests prone to fire, during the 2000-2015 period, had coincided with regional elections in the two areas. “This is my foremost worry,” Herry said, referring to the potential for lax control over those who start fires during ahead of and during the regional elections.

In general, people have become more knowledgeable about fire prevention, especially by not clearing land for agricultural purposes by setting fire to it. Smallholders have begun complying with regulations, while big companies have started to meet their sustainability obligations as they fear having their business permits revoked.

However, Herry said the stern approach had less of an influence on another group of culprits: middle-scale farmers, who can be found across Sumatra, including in South Sumatra.

“This group is not daunted by the threat that faces big companies. They don’t fear a legal case if they clear land with fire because basically they are not registered as legal entities,” Herry said.

In the aftermath of the 2015 fires, which ravaged 640,000 hectares of forest and land in South Sumatra alone, attention was centered on the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), established by Jokowi to restore 2 million ha of peatland by 2020 in seven provinces, including the province.

However, experts have said there has been no significant progress in peatland restoration efforts, blaming BRG’s lack of authority on the ground, especially in dealing with companies that some experts claim have allies in line ministries.

“Restoring peatland to its wet condition is a significant aspect in fire prevention,” said Teguh Surya, a researcher with the Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, an NGO that focuses on forest and land management.

Teguh said fires were still looming large in South Sumatra – where peatlands are concentrated in Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin regencies — partly because there had been no signs of significant peatland restoration by the BRG in the province. He added that the agency had never publicly revealed how much peatland it had restored there.

South Sumatra and Riau, meanwhile, have begun preparing for potential forest and land fires this year, mostly related to fire mitigation efforts.

The South Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has requested additional helicopters from Jakarta to be used to extinguish fires, while the Riau administration has considered declaring a state of emergency in the province to anticipate possible fires this year.

“South Sumatra has only five helicopters, which is insufficient. Moreover, the province will host the Asian Games in August, which could the one of the hottest periods [in 2018],” South Sumatra BPBD head Iriansyah said in December last year as quoted by Antara.

Palembang will host 10 sporting events, including women’s soccer, men’s soccer, basketball, a triathlon, shooting and sepak takraw competitions. (ahw)

Source: The Jakarta Post, February 14, 2018.

 

Related Article

Pantau Gambut Ajukan 5 Rekomendasi Pasca 2 Tahun Restorasi Gambut

Pantau Gambut Ajukan 5 Rekomendasi Pasca 2 Tahun Restorasi Gambut

JAKARTA (13 Februari 2018) – Dua tahun telah berlalu sejak Presiden Joko Widodo mengeluarkan Peraturan Presiden no. 1 Tahun 2016 tentang Badan Restorasi Gambut, yang menjadi awal mula komitmen presiden untuk merestorasi 2 juta hektar ekosistem lahan gambut yang terdegradasi di 7 provinsi prioritas. Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (KLHK), Badan Restorasi Gambut (BRG), Badan Perencanaan Nasional, Kementerian Agraria dan Tata Ruang/ Badan Pertanahan Nasional, serta beberapa pemerintah daerah telah mengeluarkan beberapa kebijakan dan melaksanakan program untuk mendukung terwujudnya target restorasi tersebut. Namun, pemantauan independen yang dilakukan oleh 19 Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat (LSM) di 7 provinsi prioritas restorasi menemukan masih banyak ruang untuk meningkatkan kinerja restorasi gambut yang sudah terbilang baik. Berangkat dari temuan pemantauan di lapangan, 19 LSM yang tergabung dalam Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut mengajukan 5 rekomendasi untuk mencapai target restorasi gambut yang tertuang dalam laporan bertajuk “Suara dari Garda Depan Perlindungan Gambut di 7 Provinsi: Evaluasi 2 Tahun Restorasi Gambut.”

Pertama, restorasi gambut memerlukan koordinasi yang lebih baik antar kementerian dan lembaga di tingkat nasional maupun daerah. Restorasi gambut bukan hanya tugas BRG, tetapi juga KLHK, Kementerian Pertanian, Pemerintah Provinsi, dan Tim Restorasi Gambut Daerah. “Minimnya koordinasi dapat menyebabkan tumpang tindih pekerjaan antar lembaga. Misalnya, Simpul Jaringan Pantau menemukan bahwa Rencana Perlindungan dan Pengelolaan Ekosistem Gambut (RPPEG) yang harus disusun oleh KLHK berpotensi mengalami duplikasi dengan Rencana Restorasi Ekosistem Gambut (RREG) yang sedang dilaksanakan oleh BRG. Kedua perencanaan ini harus dikoordinasikan agar dapat menunjang satu sama lain dan tidak menjadi hal yang terpisah,” ujar Teguh Surya, Direktur Eksekutif Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan.

Lebih lanjut Yohanes Akwan, Koordinator Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut Papua mengatakan, “Kementerian Pertanian dan pemerintah daerah juga harus bersinergi dengan KLHK dan BRG, khususnya dalam hal penegakkan aturan restorasi gambut di kawasan budidaya, yang merupakan 87% dari total areal prioritas restorasi gambut.” Kedua, restorasi gambut memerlukan transparansi data dalam proses pelaksanaannya untuk memungkinkan partisipasi dan pengawasan publik.

“Walau UU no. 32/ 2009 tentang Perlindungan dan Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup menjamin hak dan kesempatan yang sama untuk masyarakat berperan aktif dalam perlindungan lingkungan hidup, Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut masih mengalami kesulitan untuk mengakses informasi rinci tentang restorasi gambut. Misalnya, Simpul Jaringan memerlukan lokasi rinci intervensi BRG untuk memverifikasi dampak restorasi. KLHK juga perlu untuk menyediakan data publik tentang perusahaan yang harus melakukan restorasi dan telah mengumpulkan revisi Rencana Kerja Usaha (RKU),” ujar Sarah Agustiorini, Juru Kampanye, Kaoem Telapak.

Ketiga, restorasi gambut juga perlu memasukkan program peningkatan pemahaman dan pembangunan kapasitas masyarakat terhadap restorasi gambut agar dampak restorasi dapat berkesinambungan pasca 2020. “BRG telah berupaya mengatasi isu ini dengan pembentukan Desa Peduli Gambut. Tetapi, Simpul Jaringan menemukan bahwa masih ada desa-desa yang merupakan lokasi terjadinya kebakaran pada tahun 2015 dan lokasi tindakan restorasi masih belum menjadi Desa Peduli Gambut, seperti Desa Guntung Payung di Kalimantan Selatan,” ujar Kisworo Dwi Cahyono, Direktur Eksekutif Walhi Kalimantan Selatan. Romesh Irawan, Direktur Eksekutif Kaliptra Andalas lebih lanjut menjelaskan, “Melalui hasil wawancara Simpul Jaringan dengan warga setempat, kegiatan restorasi tidak melibatkan masyarakat secara menyeluruh. Misalnya, dalam pembuatan sumur bor yang hanya melibatkan pemerintah desa dan tidak melibatkan masyarakat yang terdampak langsung restorasi, sehingga masyarakat tidak mengetahui manfaat dan cara penggunaan sumur bor atau tidak mempunyai alat tambahan untuk menggunakannya.” Almo Pradana, Manajer Proyek Restorasi Gambut di WRI Indonesia menambahkan, “Kapasitas Unit Pengelola Restorasi Gambut (UPRG) yang terdiri dari Organisasi Perangkat Daerah (OPD), pelaku usaha, dan masyarakat juga perlu ditingkatkan agar mereka dapat menyusun dan mengimplementasikan rencana restorasi gambut dan mengelola dana restorasi gambut di daerah masing-masing secara mandiri dan terpadu.”

Rekomendasi keempat terkait dengan penguatan supervisi aktivitas restorasi gambut yang dilakukan oleh perusahaan. Enam puluh persen dari total 2,4 juta hektar area prioritas restorasi gambut berada di wilayah konsesi. Berdasarkan PP no. 57 Tahun 2016 dan Permen LHK no. 14 Tahun 2017, perusahaan diwajibkan melakukan pemulihan atas lahan gambut yang rusak karena aktivitas korporasi baik di dalam maupun di luar areal usaha.

“Namun, menurut pengamatan Simpul Jaringan Daerah, selama ini agenda restorasi gambut lebih banyak terdengar di wilayah kelola masyarakat dibandingkan dengan wilayah izin usaha. Misalnya, restorasi di konsesi perusahaan di Sum-Sel mencapai sekitar 458.430 hektar dari total luasan target 594.230 hektar. Namun, hingga kini kami belum mendapat rincian data dan informasi terkait tindak lanjut dan upaya yang dilakukan para pemegang izin dalam melaksanakan restorasi gambut di areal target tersebut,” ujar Hadi Jatmiko, Direktur Eksekutif Walhi Sumatera Selatan.

Hadi menyarankan agar pelaksanaan komitmen pemegang izin harus dipercepat dan dipertegas, misalnya dengan memberikan batas waktu yang jelas untuk penyerahan revisi Rencana Kerja Usaha dan memberikan sanksi bagi yang melanggar. Rekomendasi terakhir adalah pelaku restorasi gambut dapat mengasimilasikan pengetahuan lokal dalam metode pengelolaan gambut yang berkelanjutan. “Di Desa Mantangai Hulu, Kalimantan Tengah, kami mengidentifikasi kegiatan ekonomi masyarakat yang berpotensi untuk kegiatan restorasi gambut, seperti beternak ikan, budidaya purun untuk dijadikan kerajinan tangan, dan budidaya jelutung. Hal tersebut merupakan pengetahuan lokal yang telah berlangsung turun-temurun. Oleh karena itu, rencana restorasi gambut perlu juga mempertimbangkan kearifan lokal di masing-masing daerah,” ujar Dimas Hartono, Direktur Eksekutif Walhi Kalimantan Tengah.

Pada akhirnya, rekomendasi ini ditujukan kepada para instansi pemerintah terkait, mulai dari KLHK, BRG, Pemerintah Daerah di 7 Provinsi, Kementerian Pertanian, Badan Perencanaan Nasional, dan Kementerian Agraria dan Tata Ruang/ Badan Pertanahan Nasional karena Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut percaya bahwa restorasi gambut merupakan tugas bersama dan bukan hanya tanggung jawab satu organisasi.

“Tugas restorasi gambut merupakan perjalanan panjang yang tidak dapat diselesaikan hanya dalam waktu 5 tahun dan pastinya tidak dapat juga hanya dibebankan di pundak satu organisasi yang bersifat ad-hoc. Restorasi gambut ini harus diinstitusionalisasikan ke dalam setiap kementerian dan lembaga di tingkat nasional dan daerah,” ujar Almo. Laporan ini disusun berdasarkan pengamatan lapangan yang dilakukan oleh Simpul Jaringan Pantau Gambut di tingkat nasional dan daerah. Laporan ini dapat diunduh secara gratis di pantaugambut.id/laporan-tahunan, yang merupakan platform publik untuk memantau perkembangan restorasi gambut. Platform pantaugambut.id juga menampilkan pemantauan komitmen restorasi gambut secara berkala; peta aktivitas restorasi yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah, pelaku usaha, dan LSM; berbagi cerita yang merupakan wadah untuk berbagi hikmah ajar terkait restorasi gambut; dan juga fitur pelajari untuk pengetahuan dasar mengenai gambut. *** Tentang Pantau Gambut:
Pantau Gambut merupakan sebuah inisiatif independen dari berbagai lembaga swadaya masyarakat di Indonesia yang memanfaatkan teknologi, kolaborasi data, dan jaringan masyarakat untuk memberikan informasi dan meningkatkan partisipasi publik dalam memastikan keberhasilan komitmen restorasi ekosistem gambut yang dilakukan oleh segenap pemangku kepentingan di Indonesia.

Pantaugambut.id memiliki fitur Pantau Komitmen, Peta Aktivitas Restorasi, Berbagi Cerita, dan Pelajari. Platform pantaugambut.id dapat diakses oleh siapapun secara gratis.

Related Article

20 Kelompok Masyarakat Sipil Pantau Gambut

20 Kelompok Masyarakat Sipil Pantau Gambut

Muhammad Teguh Surya, Direktur Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, Selasa (13/2) di Jakarta, mewakili 20 jejaring kelompok masyarakat sipil di delapan provinsi yang memiliki gambut, mengenalkan situs pantaugambut.id. Situs ini berisi peta, data, dan informasi terkait gambut dan restorasinya sebagai sarana kanal informasi bagi masyarakat terkait perkembangan kemajuan restorasi gambut.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Sejumlah 20 kelompok masyarakat sipil yang tergabung dalam Simpul Jaringan Pantau membangun kanal informasi untuk memantau perkembangan restorasi gambut. Kanal dalam pantaugambut.id ini berisi peta restorasi yang dilakukan masyarakat, laporan masyarakat, cerita masyarakat terkait gambut, serta berbagai informasi terkait ekosistem gambut.

Kanal informasi ini menjembatani kekosongan informasi terkait perkembangan restorasi gambut yang dijanjikan Presiden Joko Widodo pascakebakaran hutan dan lahan pada 2015.

Restorasi 2 juta hektar gambut di tujuh provinsi yang dijalankan Badan Restorasi Gambut hingga 2019 dinilai belum terinformasikan kepada masyarakat. ”Pantau Gambut merupakan inisiatif independen dari berbagai lembaga swadaya masyarakat di Indonesia yang memanfaatkan teknologi, kolaborasi data, dan jaringan masyarakat untuk memberikan informasi dan meningkatkan partisipasi publik dalam memastikan keberhasilan komitmen restorasi ekosistem gambut yang dilakukan semua pemangku kepentingan,” tutur Muhammad Teguh Surya, Direktur Eksekutif Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, mewakili Simpul Jaringan Pantau, Senin (13/2), saat mengenalkan situs pantaugambut.id kepada media.

Pantau gambut merupakan inisiatif independen dari berbagai lembaga swadaya masyarakat di Indonesia untuk memberikan informasi dan meningkatkan partisipasi publik dalam memastikan keberhasilan komitmen restorasi ekosistem gambut.

Ia mengatakan, kanal ini dibangun karena pekerjaan restorasi gambut masih banyak bersifat proyek. Karena tak merasa dilibatkan, dikhawatirkan pekerjaan restorasi tak bertahan lama.

Clorinda, analis penelitian World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia, bagian dari Simpul Jaringan, mengatakan, pihaknya mengundang berbagai pihak, terutama masyarakat yang mengerjakan restorasi di area masing-masing. Data ini bisa diplot dalam peta pantaugambut.id.

”Kami sedang susun protokol pemantauannya bagi kelompok masyarakat yang ingin menunjukkan restorasi gambutnya,” ujarnya.

Sumber: Kompas Cetak, 13 Februari 2018 18:32 WIB

Related Article

Ulasan Peraturan Kementerian Lingkungan dan Kehutanan No. 70 Tahun 2017 tentang REDD+

Ulasan Peraturan Kementerian Lingkungan dan Kehutanan No. 70 Tahun 2017 tentang REDD+

Laporan ini mengulas secara komprehensif mengenai Peraturan Kementerian Lingkungan dan Kehutanan No. 70 Tahun 2017 tentang Tata Cara Pelaksanaan Reducing Emmisions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Role of Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forest and Enhancement of Carbon Stocks. Regulasi ini menjadi dasar legal atas penerapan REDD+ di Indonesia, mencakup ketentuan umum, lokasi, pendekatan, perangkat, serta upaya pemantauan, evaluasi, dan pembinaan implementasi REDD+ baik di tingkat nasional maupun subnasional.Untuk membaca selengkapnya, sila unduh laporan di bawah ini (dalam bahasa Inggris).

To read the full report, please download below.

Related Article

en_USEN_US