PaludiFor, An Indonesian Tropical Paludiculture Multi-Stakeholder Forum Now Officially Launched

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Bogor, 30 Juli 2019. Head of Forest Research and Development, Research and Development and Innovation Body of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), who was represented by the Division Head of Program and Evaluation, Dr. Hernita Wahyuni, officially announced the launching of PaludiFor, short for Tropical Paludiculture Forum – a multi-stakeholder forum that is focusing on paludiculture development in Indonesia. In her opening statement, Dr. Hernita Wahyuni emphasized the importance of PaludiFor, as a multi-stakeholder forum, to motor the synergy of all stakeholders in forest sustainable management, in particular that of peat ecosystems.

Paludiculture is defined as a method of sustainable peat ecosystem management through the cultivation of peat-native plants without applying peat drainage. Thus, Paludiculture is applicable in a constantly wet peatland, and therefore can avoid peat degradation – particularly ones ending in peat forest and land fire, while also minimizing peat subsidence peatland subsidence.
PaludiFor is a multi-party initiative, of which establishment was facilitated by the Forest Research and Development Body and Yayasan Lahan Basah (Wetlands International Indonesia). Started off in an inception workshop in August 2018, currently PaludiFor is officially listed as an association in the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. PaludiFor was established in a mission to cater a significant need in Indonesia of a sustainable peat management system. PaludiFor is expected to become a platform for information exchange in the context of developing paludiculture best practices that can answer many root causes of problems, specifically peat forest and land fires.

“We want to turn peat as one of the core capitals of our development. PaludiFor will articulate sustainable peatland management through best practices in paludiculture”, stated Agus P. Tampubolon, a researcher in the Forest Research Center (Puslithut), who also act as the current Chair of PaludiFor. Along the lines with Agus’ statement, the Director of Yayasan Lahan Basah, Nyoman Suryadiputra, emphasized the importance of this forum to act pro-actively in echoing to the public the impacts of peatland degradation, including the lurking danger of peatland subsidence that can lead to permanent flooding of peatlands. “Paludiculture must be done before peatlands are permanently flooded. We must act now, before it’s too late,” Nyoman added.

This launching event was attended by 40’s members and representatives from the government, NGOs, research institutions, and the private sector. After the launching, participants of this event formulated PaludiFor’s roadmap and work plan for the coming five years. Also included in the event was a discussion on identifying the potential to collaborate with the ITPc (International Tropical Peat Centre), a multi-stakeholder initiative formed by the governments of four countries for the development of sustainable peat management.