May 09, 2017
Managing the Riau Ecosystem Restoration (RER) landscape is not an easy task. A comprehensive knowledge on the character of the area is required to be able to manage these landscapes effectively and protect the peatland ecosystem with a sustainable landscape approach.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and RER are currently completing the assessment of High Conservation Value (HCV) for RER areas under the management of PT Gemilang Cipta Nusantara (GCN), PT The Best One Unitimber (TBOT) and PT Sinar Mutiara Nusantara (SMN) to complete the knowledge on conservation value of RER area.
As one of the key stages in the HCV assessment, FFI conducted Public Consultation at Teluk Meranti District Office on April 6th, 2017. At least 50 peoples from the villages around the RER landscape, civil society institutions as well as representatives of government institutions were participating.
The consultation is important to ensure that information compiled by the FFI Team is disclosed to and confirmed by stakeholders around the RER area. “Through today’s meeting, we hope there will be a common spirit to preserve the environment sustainability and protect the fauna, flora and other important values that community has been practicing,” said Muhammad Iqbal, RER Restoration Ecologist.
The HCV assessment is following the HCV National Interpretation toolkit and the HCV Resource Network guidance documents which consider the species diversity, landscape-level ecosystems and mosaics, ecosystems and habitats, ecosystem services, community basic needs, and cultural values.
Public consultation was conducted through group discussions to verify the compiled data and information as well as to collect additional information and feedbacks on the findings of HCVs and delineation presented by the FFI HCV Assessment Team.
In general, the participants were confirming the findings presented. Inputs given by the participants were focused on the management and monitoring aspects of the identified HCV management areas.
Joseph Hutabarat, the licensed HCV assessor, from FFI Indonesia Programme said repeatedly, “This study is quite different from other HCV assessment which, usually used to suggest management plan for forest extraction such as palm oil, timber plantation, or logging concession, so that the area identified as HCVs is not impacted. This HCV assessment is to suggest management plan for forest restoration and protection.
Nevertheless, he added, HCV assessment is needed to set the baseline of important conservation values in the area. Thus, ensure that the management plan of the companies will maintain or if possible enhance the HCVs.
At the end of the event Mr. Hutabarat reminded the encouragement from the participants for the management units to always operate through collaborative management, thus creating synergies in the management of high conservation value areas with the stakeholders.