TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) chairman Nazir Foead said that South Kalimantan received only Rp10 billion out of Rp24 billion proposed for peatland restoration. Nazir said that the funds have been reduced as the central government slashes its budget.
Nazir is confident that the restoration program in South Kalimantan will continue despite the decision. He added that more funds will be provided next year.
In South Kalimantan, BRG will restore 105,023 hectares of peatland spread across four peatland hydrological units (KHG).
According to Nazir, four KHGs are located in the districts of Balangan, Banjar, Barito Kuala, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Hulu Sungai Selatan, Hulu Sungai Utara, Tabalong, and Tapin. In addition, Nazir said, BRG will be focusing on restoring burned peatland and 12,798 hectares of land as well as restoring peat domes that have been turned into 45,836 hectares of plantation areas.
The BRG will also protect 33,398 hectares of undisturbed peatland. In Central Kalimantan, Nazir estimated that 55 percent of peatland are degraded and 45 percent are in good condition. “Some are already cleared, dried out and neglected. We will restore them by engaging locals to maintain the hydrology of peatland during the dry season,” Nazir said.
According to Nazir, the BRG will focus on canal blocking, well drilling, and irrigation channels construction. BRG and South Kalimantan Reforestation Team built 50 drilled wells in 2016. Nazir said that the method will keep peatland moist for agriculture during the dry season. “We will take into account conservation, plantation and support zones,” he said.
Besides South Kalimantan, the BRG is tasked with restoring 2 million hectares of peatland across seven provinces. Nazir is optimistic that the agency will complete the restoration program by 2020.