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Community leaders play an important role in preventing peat fire

Posted: Sep 21, 2020 2 minute read SMART 360 views

Jakarta, 21 September 2020 – Supporting communities and religious leaders in educating their fellow community members about preventing peat fire is the focus of recent collaboration between the Peat Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut/”BRG”) and Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food.

The Desa Peduli Gambut (DPG) Programme is a series of educational and capacity building activities targeting community leaders. The “Lokalatih Da’I Masjid Peduli Gambut” (Local Training of Da’I to Care for Peat) was recently held online in Riau, Jambi and West Kalimantan via online. This programme involved the Central Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and the environmental as well as climate change leaders from the National University.

“Through this programme, we are trying to prevent fire from occurring on peatland. We have successfully implemented this programme in other areas in Indonesia. This collaboration with Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food will help accelerate the programme so we can reach a wider community and give a bigger, positive impact,” explained Dr. Myrna A. Safitri, Deputy for Education, Dissemination, Participation and Partnership at BRG.

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Dr. Hayu Prabowo
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Dr. Myrna A Safitri
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The Online Local Training of Da’I to Care for Peat was held simultaneously in Riau, Jambi and West Kalimantan on Saturday, September 19. Having major impact on people’s lives, more than 40 Da’I attending the event were expected to share the importance of responsible peatland management and ecomasjid development.

The Da’Is (Muslim callers) have a major impact on people’s lives and play a key role in communicating the importance of responsible peatland management. This training aims to build the capacity of religious leaders regarding peat restoration and construction of eco-friendly mosques.

The DPG programme constitutes a framework for aligning existing development programmes for peatland villages, particularly in and around peat restoration areas. The approach is to establish cooperation between villages within one peat landscape as a whole.

The collaboration between Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food and BRG will run until the end of 2020 with various activities in Riau, Jambi, and West Kalimantan, conducted in areas with relatively extensive peatland.

Besides strengthening village communities’ preparedness in facing peat fire and expanding their knowledge about peatland management, this collaboration will help improve the welfare of these communities through the implementation of the Company’s programme, Desa Makmur Peduli Api (DMPA).

The long-term expectation of this programme is the villages taking part in it will not cause peat fire and are able to manage peat ecosystem in a sustainable manner.

“We warmly welcome the collaboration with the BRG. We recognise that the efforts to prevent forest and peat fires require cross-sectoral collaboration to be fast-tracked. We have had a positive experience in preventing forest and land fires through the DMPA programme, as well as with our peat rehabilitation efforts over the past few years which also engages with BRG under the Desa Peduli Gambut programme,” said Pak Agus Purnomo, Managing Director for Sustainability and Strategic Stakeholder Engagement, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food.

The GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP) reinforces the Company’s commitment to protecting peatlands. Since the fires in 2015, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food has been managing a project to rehabilitate 2,600 hectares of peat conservation area at PT Agro Lestari Mandiri (PT AMNL), Ketapang, West Kalimantan. The local community also plays an important role in that peat rehabilitation initiative.

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