JAKARTA, Indonesia, Sept. 16, 2013 (Press Release) -The Advisory Board for Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) has endorsed a work plan to restore the 20,265-hectare Sumatran peat forest. The work plan will be the roadmap for rehabilitating degraded land in the southeastern part of the core of the Kampar Peninsula in Indonesia's Riau Province. The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry granted a multi-year license for the Ecosystem Restoration Concession project last May.
"We are pleased that the project is coming into clear focus," said Bey Soo Khiang, a member of the Advisory Board and head of pulp and paper company APRIL, RER's founder and sponsor. "From this point forward, we anticipate steady progress toward our goal of reviving the land and protecting it for future generations."
RER is the first public-private sector collaboration ever attempted to restore degraded forest in Indonesia. APRIL's partners in the project include environmental non-profit Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Indonesian community support organization Bidara, and technical consultant Daemeter.
RER said it is dividing work into four key components:
- Environmental Restoration - Restoring the ecosystem and ensuring sustainable development of the forest estate;
- Biodiversity - Conserving threatened species and the peatland ecosystem;
- Carbon - Preventing significant quantities of greenhouse gas emissions; and,
- Communities - Improving the well-being of local and indigenous communities, particularly those who are dependent on natural resources in the Ecosystem Restoration Concession and surrounding ecosystem.
RER's Advisory Board supported the adoption of internationally recognized Community, Climate and Biodiversity (CCB) standards to measure the success of biodiversity and community engagement programs.
Work begins in the RER forest within two months, including in-depth consultations and socio-economic research in communities neighboring the RER concession. Camera traps are already in place video-taping the concession's wildlife.
A dozen visitors, including RER management and Advisory Board members, toured the restoration site Sept. 13.
Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to delivering comprehensive ecosystem restoration of ecologically important peat forest areas on Indonesia¹s Kampar Peninsula, to fulfill environmental, economic and social imperatives in a sustainable manner.
About Fauna & Flora International (FFI):
FFI protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and take account of human needs. Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide - mainly in the developing world - FFI saves species from extinction and habitats from destruction, while improving the livelihoods of local people. Founded in 1903, FFI is the world's longest established international conservation body and a registered charity.
Bidara is a non-political and non-governmental organization which focuses on strengthening the social capital, initiative and self-reliance of rural communities in Indonesia.
Daemeter is an independent consulting firm promoting sustainable and equitable management of natural resources in Indonesia.
Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is a leading producer of fibre, pulp and paper with manufacturing operations in Kerinci, Riau Province, Indonesia. APRIL has been a pioneer in implementing sustainability practices in the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia. It has extensive knowledge and expertise after more than a decade of initiatives and investments in conserving high conservation value tropical peat forest.