PALEMBANG, NETRALNEWS.COM - Several countries have lauded the Indonesian government for its program to restore peatland areas spread across two million hectares, according to Nazir Foead, head of the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG).
Countries, such as Norway, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea, have provided financial assistance for the program.
"Restoration of peatland areas has gained global attention, apart from reforestation. So far, the world's response is very positive toward Indonesia," he informed the press following the opening ceremony of the "First Asia Bonn Challenge High Level Round-table Meeting" here, Wednesday.
For Indonesia, the Bonn Challenge has strengthened its commitment to preserving peatland areas. Permanent State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany Jochen Flashbarth, in his keynote speech during the opening ceremony, lauded Indonesia's efforts in protecting its forests.
He particularly lauded the government's decision to impose a moratorium on the issuance of new licenses in primary natural forests and peatland areas and to launch a massive peatland restoration program.
Environmental preservation is not a problem of one country but the entire world. "We have been successful in boosting global economic growth, lest we lose in saving the Earth."
Delegates from 27 countries attending the meeting undertook a field visit to Sepucuk, South Sumatra, to observe a peatland restoration project under which at least 25 local trees have been planted in the area.
Led by Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the government of South Sumatra, in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the meeting is instrumental in intensifying regional momentum on the Bonn Challenge.
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world's deforested and degraded land areas by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
Until now, 40 governments, alliances, and private sector organizations have committed over 148 million hectares to the Bonn Challenge. Pledges from Asia include 21 million hectares from India, one million hectares from Asia Pulp and Paper, and 384 thousand hectares from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.