TEMPO.CO, Pekanbaru - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has confirmed that he will review Industrial Forest (HTI) permit of companies that convert peatlands in Meranti Regency, Riau. Jokowi has asked the Forestry Ministry to continue to monitor land conversion activities to prevent damages to the ecosystem and plantations.
Jokowi said that he had urged Meranti regency government construct dam to prevent peatlands in the area from drying out, which in turn make them easily combustible.
Abdul Manan, a resident of Sungai Tohor, said that there are three companies in Meranti regency that threatens the condition of the environment. "We want Jokowi to revoke the companies' permit," he said.
He added that the permits are not in accordance with the Environment Law, which regulates that peatland area with a depth of three meters must be given concession while peatlands in Meranti has a depth of more than nine meters.
Manan accused the companies of drying out peatlands, making it easily combustible, because they have built water canals that channel much of the land's water to the sea. He added that local sago productions are also decreasing.