Indonesian firefighters tried to put the fire under control in Banyuasin, southern Sumatra (Photo: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia’s Peat Land Restoration Agency (BRG) has announced a plan to recover over 800,000 hectares of peat land.

The locations for conducting the restoration work have been identified and decided based on four criteria: original peatland, condition of soil cover, the presence of canals and their impacts, and the history of forest fires over the past five years.

Accordingly, the BRG had completed the mapping of the peatland areas in the districts of Meranti Islands in Riau; Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin in South Sumatra; and Pulang Pisau in Central Kalimantan.

Each hectare will cost 12 million Rp for recovery within five years. The money only covers the hydrology restoration work, excluding green coverage activities.

The World Bank and the Center for International Forestry Research estimated the restoration cost to reach between 6 million and 36 million Rp per hectare.

Of the over 800,000 hectares, 77 percent of which lie within cultivation areas while the remaining are located in protected areas.

Indonesia’s peat land areas are estimated to reach 20.6 million hectares, or some 10.8 percent of its total land area. Of this, approximately 7.2 million ha, or 35 percent, are located on Sumatra Island.

Established in January 2016 by the Indonesian Government, the BRG is chiefly tasked with monitoring activities to restore the peat land ecological system and implement measures to preserve water resources, mitigate floods, and prevent sea water intrusion and forest fires.-VNA