Indonesia - 22 October, 2022
Milestones and progress on the efforts to address recurrent fires in Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan landscape, Ketapang District, were identified and discussed by Ketapang Multistakeholder Forum in September 2022. The Forum agreed on the initiatives to develop a masterplan to lay the foundation on fire prevention strategies and action plans.
Fire prevention efforts for Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan Peatland Hydrological Units in Ketapang District have been intensively discussed through multistakeholder (MS) processes since 2021 by Ketapang Multistakeholder Forum on Natural Resource Management (SEKBER PSDA). During the initial stage, such as in Multistakeholder Consultation on the Planning for Fire Prevention and Sustainable Management held in April 2021, peatland restoration was introduced as the key strategy, as this would effectively reduce fire risks of the drained peatlands. Since then, various issues have been discussed and addressed in collaborative manner by the forum, including through a Multistakeholder Forum workshop in December 2021.
Throughout 2022, the MS processes have achieved a number of important milestones. Therefore, in September 2022, it was considered necessary to convene for a semi-annual workshop for updates and feedbacks, and to plan for next steps as well as discuss the remaining issues.
One of the milestones by early 2022 was the formalization of Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan Peatland Hydrological Units (PHUs) into national priority areas for peatland restoration by BRGM (Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency). As a follow up on that, BRGM included these PHUs in its Annual Action Plan (RTT). In the semi-annual workshop, BRGM representatives presented the Annual Action Plan for Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan and the canal blocking plans. Workshop participants were also reminded that at the district level, Ketapang government had made commitments on peat ecosystem protection, as articulated in the 2021-2026 Medium-term Development Plan (RPJMD) and the 2015-2035 Spatial Plan (RTRW). These were reiterated by the District Head, represented by the Assistant to District Secretary, in his remarks in the workshop.
Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan landscape is a vast peat ecosystem with varying depths. As regulated by the Presidential Regulations of 57/2016, peat depth is one key criterion to determine the functions of peatlands, i.e. Protection Functions (Fungsi Lindung) or Cultivation Functions (Fungsi Budidaya). Peat with >3m depth is generally considered deep or thick and belongs to Protection Function. This subject was presented and explained by KPH (Forest Management Unit) of Ketapang Selatan. In addition, KPH also presented updates on concession license moratorium and how and where this affected the concessions the landscape. These updates and discussions with KPH are crucial for awareness by various stakeholders especially for improving land governance and management in the PHUs, including for reducing the risks of peatland fires.
Picture: KPH's presentation on peat ecosystem functions in Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan Peat Hydrological Units (KHG): Protection Functions (Fungsi Lindung) and Cultivation Functions (Fungsi Budidaya).
Ultimately, an important agenda in the workshop was to introduce the initiatives to develop ‘Masterplan for Fire Prevention in Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan’ led by Bappeda (District Planning Agency). Fire prevention masterplan aims to provide foundation on strategies and action plans for the governments and other actors/stakeholders. The overarching approach of the masterplan is that it is based on recognizing diverse peat landscape characteristics, including, among others, actual burnt areas with recurrent fires, peat depths and land and tenurial status. Tropenbos Indonesia is providing technical backstopping for the masterplan development, especially for methodology, landscape assessments and write-up processes; all in close collaboration with Bappeda. This workshop also served as the first stakeholder consultation on masterplan development, where participants provided feedbacks. The finalized masterplan document will become the basis for formulating District Head Regulation (Peraturan Bupati) on Fire Prevention Masterplan for Pawan-Kepulu-Pesaguan Peat Hydrological Units.