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Collaborative Action Needed for Sustainable Wetland Management

Collaborative action involving all actors is needed to protect and manage wetlands such as mangroves and peat. Sustainable wetland management is needed as an effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Director General of Environmental Damage Pollution Control of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Sigit Reliantoro in his speech said that the issue of wetland management is increasingly becoming a global concern. "At the G20 Ministerial meeting, the issue of wetlands was also discussed," he said in a speech opening a panel discussion at the Indonesian Pavilion at the UNFCCC COP27 Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Monday, November 14, 2022. Sigit, in a speech read by the Director of Peat Damage Control at KLHK SPM Budisusanti, said that cooperation at the global level is a modality to continue to encourage sustainable wetland management.

According to him, all parties can share experiences and knowledge in wetland management. One of the experiences and knowledge that Indonesia can share is in peatland management.

Indonesia has successfully restored 3.7 million hectares of peatlands by 2022 by involving concession owners and communities with the Peat Care Village program. 

Head of the Sub-Directorate for Peat Ecosystem Conservation M Asykari explained that the government has a number of policies to encourage sustainable peatland management.

In terms of regulations, there is Government Regulation (PP) No 71 of 2014 which was updated with PP 57 of 2016 and its implementing regulations governing the protection and management of peatlands.
Based on these provisions, degraded peatlands must be restored. Restoration actions carried out include making canal blocks to raise the peat water level, building groundwater monitoring stations, and planting in burnt areas. "Restoration has a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

From the calculations made, peat restoration that has been carried out in an area of 3.6 million hectares in concession areas and 49,874 hectares in community land has succeeded in reducing GHG emissions by 271 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Meanwhile, APP Sinar Mas Deputy Director of Corporate Strategy & Relations Iwan Setiawan emphasized his readiness to collaborate in wetland management.

"We are committed to continue to make continuous improvement efforts and use technology in carrying out best practices in water management, which can support the achievement of the targets that have been set," Iwan said.

He emphasized the importance of involving experts and finding credible data science-based solutions in wetland management. This, according to Iwan, is important to show that science also plays an important role in managing peatlands safely, responsibly and sustainably in a way that is positive for people and the planet. For this reason, APP Sinar Mas has established a number of collaborations with government research institutions and universities. 

Indonesian Nature Conservation Foundation Executive Director Herlina Hartanto also emphasized the importance of collaboration in wetland management. She said the management of wetlands such as mangroves cannot be done alone, especially since the costs required are very large.

Herlina said that to encourage sustainable mangrove management, YKAN has launched the Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance (MERA), a platform to encourage synergy in saving and conserving mangroves. APP Sinar Mas is one of the companies that joined the initiative.

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