Restoration program protects critical forest ecosystem in Riau

Indonesia’s peatland forests are some of the most sensitive and biodiversity-rich ecosystems in the world. The Kampar Peninsula in Sumatra represents one of the last remaining Sundaic lowland tropical peat forests, providing forest habitat for various endangered species, while protecting significant reserves of carbon.

Five years ago, Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (Riau Ecosystem Restoration, RER) was set up as a collaborative project to bring together private and public sector organizations to protect and restore forest in this unique environment through numerous programs.

Located on Sumatra’s eastern coastline, RER comprises 150,000 hectares of peatland forest, of which 130,000 hectares sits on the Kampar Peninsula – an area about twice the size of Singapore. A further 20,000 hectares are located on the nearby Padang Island.

Set-up by APRIL Group, a leading producer of fiber, pulp and paper, RER is managed under 60-year ecosystem restoration licenses issued by the government of Indonesia. A key element of the program is the use of an integrated production protection ring landscape model, where plantation operations on the perimeter of the restoration area not only provide protection from fire and encroachment, but also support ecosystem restoration and forest protection.

The RER program has achieved some extraordinary results since work began, including the documenting of the presence of hundreds of species of fauna and flora and the total absence of fire from the concessions. As of June 2018, there are now 757 recorded plants and animal species resident in the RER area, ranging from birds, reptiles to diversify trees and plants.
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