Indonesian haze: no oil palms on peat! Revoke PT PEAK’s license NOW

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Fires continue to ravage Indonesia’s peatlands, yet the government is permitting PT PEAK, a palm oil company, to destroy a valuable peat dome currently under restoration. Tell the Indonesian government to revoke PT PEAK’s license and ensure that this won’t happen again!

Fires have erupted in the palm oil concession of PT PEAK in Katingan, Central Kalimantan, igniting more than 50 hectares of carbon-rich peat. PT PEAK has only one small pump to extinguish the fire. “A formality”, concludes Reza Lubis, an ecologist with Wetlands International, while scanning the burning area and adding, “[PT PEAK] blame of course the community in the area, and the community is angry about that.”

Emissions from drained peatlands account for over 50% of Indonesia’s national greenhouse gas emissions. Yet instead of preventing forest fires and haze and living up to its commitments to reduce emissions, the government continues to license disastrous development projects on peatlands.

President Joko Widodo visited burning Kalimantan and witnessed the haze. In mid-October, the pollution standard index climbed up to over 3,000 micrograms per cubic meter air, 10 times the danger level. Burning peat is the source of most of this particulate matter.

Peatlands have been protected under a moratorium in Indonesia since 2011. So how could PT PEAK obtain a license to develop this land in 2013? Who changed the moratorium map that is supposed to protect this peatland? This particular area is part of one of the last and largest remaining forested peat domes in western Indonesia. The forest is highly biodiverse and an orangutan habitat. It stores huge amounts of carbon and provides valuable services for climate change mitigation and water storage while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.

Urge the Indonesian government to review the licensing process that led to this environmental, climatic and socio-economic disaster and call on the Minister of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia to revoke PT PEAK’s license immediately by signing the petition.

Wetlands International is working together with Rainforest Rescue to get attention to this case and petition the Indonesian Government to revoke Pt. PEAK’s license.