TELUK MERANTI – The Ichsan Malik Center (IMC) and Fauna & Flora International held a Conflict Potential and Resolution Workshop at the Teluk Meranti sub-district Office in Pelalawan Regency, Riau Province. This workshop is part of an on-going program of management Riau Ecosystem Restoration (RER) area in Kampar Peninsula.

IMC do a social research of the conflict potential and resolution in the seven villages in the surrounding area of the RER. It aims to formulate the approach to conflict resolution. Results of the social research was subsequently used by the company to formulate mechanisms for resolve conflicts that may occur now or in the future.

IMC is an independent facilitator of dialogue and peaceful resolution of social issues especially for conflict resolution issues, with a focus on capacity building related to conflict resolution for all stakeholders, conflict prevention, and awareness. FFI is an international Non-Governmental organization and RER’s technical partner for baseline assessment of biodiversity, climate and communities.

"Acting as an independent NGO, FFI with the help of IMC sought to explain how potential conflicts in the Teluk Meranti villages arise and how they can be managed. Through this socialization workshop we can learn to recognize the sources for potential conflict and take the appropriate measures to address them when it happens", said Edy Suprayitno, RER Estate Manager.

There were 45 workshop participants which included Directorate of Conflict Resolution in land and forest, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, BPKH XIX Riau, Secretariat sub-district, KPHP Tasik Besar Serkap, Head of Teluk Meranti, RER Staff, Bidara, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Mitra Insani Foundation, FFI, IMC, LPHD of Segamai and representatives from five villages (Teluk Binjai, Petodaan, Kuala Panduk, Pulau Muda and Segamai).

In his opening remarks, the Secretary of Teluk Meranti sub-district, H. Dusli expressed hope that representatives of each village who attended the workshop can have productive discussions with RER, FFI, and IMC.

"The relationship between the company and the community is well, especially through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. I hope representatives of each village can discuss the potential sources of conflict within their respective villages", said H. Dusli.

Executive Director of IMC, Rolly Leatemia revealed this workshop is a continuation of the social research that was done from June – September 2016 by IMC in seven villages in sub-district of Teluk Meranti. IMC’s research involved individual interviews, Focus Group Discussions, observations and document review.

“Research in seven villages in Teluk Meranti has been done in 2016, starting with Triangulation, Scientist's Native's viewpoint Approach, Mapping History of the Conflict, Mapping of Conflict Factor (source of conflict, conflict Triggers, conflict accelerator), "he said from the sidelines of the workshop.

Edi Saritonga, the people of the Segamai Village hope the company can optimize entrepreneurship training’s programme in their village, especially people who have no education, so that people become more productive everyday.

Rolly added that the workshop had been quite productive as people started to open up and share their views and ideas on how to better develop and empower their village. "The Teluk Meranti sub-district community has become more cooperative and open to the company. This workshop has been verified several potential conflicts that exist henceforth be drafted resolution mechanism. Hopefully, when conflicts arise, then we can seek resolution through mediation, deliberation, and not hasty in deciding something”, said Rolly closing the workshop.

Established by APRIL Group in 2013, RER’s multI-year programme employs an integrated landscape level approach to protect, assess, restore and manage some 150,000 hectares of previously deforested or degraded peatland as a unique, bio-diverse forest reserve.