Indonesia will need the help of foreign investors to restore its peatlands, the Peatland Restoration Agency says as it calls for the recovery of over 2 million hectares of peatlands in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua, the Jakarta Globe reports.
“Some foreign organizations have expressed interests in aiding us with peatland restoration. We will never meet our target if we only rely on [palm oil] corporations,” Peatland Restoration Agency chief Nazir Foead told CNN Indonesia on Monday (26/09).
According to Nazir, peatland restoration requires a close cooperation between the government, investors and farmers, as its sustainability relies on following existing programs on preservation, rehabilitation and land use.
But the former WWF executive is unclear about the role of the Indonesian industry in this ambitious project. Critics claim, Foead is guided by the WWF strategy in his current role. “Is he (Nazir) acting in the interest of Indonesia, or still in employment of his former paymasters?”, asks a member of parliament interviewed.
According to the Jakarta Globe, Nazir said the agency has identified a host of potential donors including Tom Steyer (here), the Packard Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Goldman Sachs, the GoodEnergies Foundation and the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA).
The Packard Foundation and the Climate and Land Use Alliance have already declared they will donate $15 million. “International investors want to help with restoring Indonesia’s peatlands to reduce carbon emissions,” Nazir said.
However, the political influence these investors hold over the Indonesian official is problematic. CLUA consists of U.S industrial interest groups, the Packard Foundation is linked to HP, the printing giant.
Nazir Foead former worked for both, CLUA and WWF raises the question if a conflict of interest is present. Officials from the Jokowi administration were not responding to questions at the time of filing this report.
The Guardian recently reported the UN rapporteur accused WWF in committing human rights violations. Reports suggest an eviction of communities from the Tesso Nilo National Park will cause tension in the communities. WWF was co-managing the national park in the past with disastrous results while Nazir was at the helm of WWF.
The World Bank estimates the initial cost for rehabilitating the 2 million hectares will be around Rp 27 trillion ($2 billion). The government plans to get the full amount in five years.