Local govts, Jikalahari agree to conserve Kampar peat forest

EoF News / 11 December 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)-- Pelalawan District Government and Siak District Government have signed an agreement with Jikalahari, Riau NGOs network, to conserve peat swamp forest of Kampar Peninsula.

The signing of joint statement took place in Legian, Bali, last week (Thursday, 6/12/2007) in side event of UN Climate Change Conference.

Riau Governor was represented by head of environmental impact assessment agency Lukman Abbas also attended and signed the agreement as the observer.

Pelalawan District Head Tengku Azmun Jaafar, Siak District Head Arwin A.S, and Jikalahari coordinator Susanto Kurniawan signed the agreement to collaboratively preserve some of 700,000 hectares that covered as Kampar Peninsula Landscape.

“This [joint] statement we issue in a response to deteriorating environmental quality particularly in Riau forests due to several conversion activities and exploitation which tend to be uncontrollable,” said Susanto Kurniawan, the Jikalahari coordinator before the signing.

Susanto said lowland rainforest in Indonesia including in Sumatra is suffering deforestation. Meanwhile, Kampar Peninsula in Riau Province contains over 400,000 peat natural forest cover. It is one of the largest contiguous peat forests that remains in Sumatra, Susanto said.

The deforestation in peatlands would release huge carbon which contributes highly to drive the global warming, he said.

“Conserving peat swamp forest of Kampar Peninsula is a key agenda of the provincial government as an effort to play an active role in mitigating the climate change that currently convened in UNCC conference,” Lukman Abbas said.

The statements agreed by three parties covering an importance to develop partnership of multistakeholders in conserving Kampar Peninsula landscape ecosystem in line with existing laws as well as local socio-cultural norms.  

The signing of joint statement will be followed up by activities in a bid to accomplish peat swamp forest ecosystem of Kampar Peninsula, the three parties agreed.