Indonesia’s newly inaugurated president, Joko Widodo, has joined a village community in their efforts to dam a canal to stop the drainage of a peat forest – a move that is seen by many as a signal of his intent to tackle decisively Sumatra’s devastating levels of deforestation and frequent forest fires. “This canal dam, initiated by the community, is very good and must be made permanent. What’s best is for peatland to be given to the community to be managed for sago. Community management is usually environmentally friendly, but companies turn peatland into monocultures like acacia and oil palm,” ...


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