The Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Stig Traavik said that Norway is ready to help Indonesia to develop peatland-friendly agriculture.
On 3 May 2016, Stig Traavik said: “We’ll help Indonesia in mastering how to cultivate plants without drying the peatlands, and how to increase the value added of the plants. There are some plants that can grow without drying the peat, such as sago.” He added that Norway will also help to market the commodities produced through peatland-friendly agricultural practices.
According to Stig Traavik, Norway is ready to support all efforts to prevent damages caused by the land and forest fires. The Norwegian Ambassador believes the important thing to prevent forest fires, especially in peatlands, is not to let the lands dry up.
“If the land becomes dry, then no technology in the world can cope with it. And if it burns, Indonesia will have a very big problem,” he said.
He also said land and forest fires occurring in Indonesia now have the attention of his country and that it strongly supports every effort to restore peatlands.
During his visit to Pekanbaru, the Norwegian Ambassador was accompanied by the Chairman of the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency, Nazir Foead.
They visited Rimbo Panjang village, which witnesses land and forest fires every year.
Earlier this year, in February 2016, the government of Norway had allocated a grant of US dollars 50 million to help the peat lands restoration program in Indonesia. Meanwhile, the US government has also allocated a grant of US dollars 17 million.
Sources: www.en.tempo.co., www.norwaynews.com