Jakarta, As a country with very large peat-lands, Indonesia has become a reference for countries around the world on peat-land management, and this has become the foundation for the establishment of the International Tropical Peat-land Center (ITPC) in Bogor, West Java.
A press statement received by Antara here Wednesday mentioned that ITPC is a real effort by the Indonesian government to be consistent in maintaining the sustainability of the peat ecosystem.
ITPC which is an initiative of the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, was inaugurated in Jakarta on Tuesday (Oct 30). ITPC is a center for information and knowledge about peat management that can be accessed by all countries across the world.
The environment ministers from other tropical peat-rich countries, such as the Republic of the Congo, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Erik Solheim, attended the inauguration of the ITPC.
ITPC will be a learning center for other countries who want to know about tropical peat and how to restore and manage the ecosystem for the benefit of the worlds environmental in the future.
So far, Indonesia has many researches on peat. These studies will be available the ITPC.
According to Siti Nurbaya, the initiative of Indonesias peat management comes from President Joko Widodo. Other initiatives from the president and the vice president are to establish the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG).
The president and vice president hoped that Indonesias peat management could be internationally accepted and has world-class quality. "Therefore, we design the organizational structure of the BRG as it is today," Siti Nurbaya said.
The BRG focuses on water management, operation and maintenance of peat canal infrastructures, international research, as well as international relations and supports.
The Indonesian Forestry and Environmental Research Development and Innovation Agency (FOERDIA) together with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor will function as the ITPC secretariat.
The Indonesian government also invites countries that have tropical peatlands, as well as international scientists and collaborators to join the ITPC to increase knowledge and protect the ecosystems.
Greenpeace environmental organization stated that peatlands act as giant sponges, soaking up water and helping to mitigate flooding. During the dry season, the peat slowly releases water and can be a source of fresh water for people who live in the ecosystem and its vicinity.
In addition, peatland is great carbon stocks, but can also havoc the climate.
Globally, the amount of carbon held in tropical peat is around 88.6 billion metric tons, while Indonesias peat stores carbon amount up to 60 billion metric tons.
Indonesias peatlands are very important as they also habitats for endangered species like orangutans and tigers.
Source: Antara News