PEKANBARU (EoF News)— Communities from 23 villages inhabiting Riau peatland declared a forum called Riau Peatland Community Network (Jaringan Masyarakat Gambut Riau) following a congress that facilitated by several Riau environmental groups this week.
Declaration took place at Riau Legislative Council Compound here Wednesday (31/3/2010) as the communities from five districts pledged to “establish justice and sustainability in managing peat swamp forest ecosystem resources” by respecting highly values and principles such as prosperity, sustainable environment, social justice, democracy and humanity.
The Community Network also highlighted that peat forest clearance for pulpwood and palm oil plantations in the province have caused troubles to environment and ecosystem.
“The existence of two Asia’s pulp giants and expanding large-scale palm oil plantations are both major factors driving destruction to peat swamp forest in the province,” the declaration said.
The congress participants also claimed that land, forest, plantation, river and lagoons in peatland of territory belong to them is their rights and it’s their obligation to protect and conserve the areas.