The Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG)

“Putting Peatlands on the Map”

The Challenge 

Ever since its inception through a Presidential decree, the Peatland Restoration Agency is mandated a mammoth of a task: to spearhead the restoration to peatland, a highly combustible land area that is in severe risks of experiencing fire every dry season. The issue faced by the Agency is a double-edge sword: that stakeholders put extraordinarily high expectations, yet the Agency lacks the support and coordination from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) to facilitate implementation of its tasks. An identified Achilles heel is the fact that stakeholders are not properly informed about the Agency, its tasks, and its strategic plans.

Our Approach

Working with the Agency, ID COMM assisted the organization of a peatland symposium, held in conjunction with the one year mark of its establishment, to inform the public and relevant stakeholders in regards to the Agency’s current phasing and its future plans in the upcoming years, especially in response to 2017’s potentially threatening upcoming dry season following the departure of La Niña which kept fire at bay in 2016. Due to the sophistication and multi-stakeholder nature of the event, ID COMM was presented with a very little grace period for preparation to answer a three-pronged challenge: to encapsulate the spirit and objective that the Agency would like to achieve through the symposium, to accurately pinpoint necessary engagement with the right media outlet and other stakeholders, and to prepare a comprehensive and succinct supporting material to augment the information that the Agency would like to disperse.

The Result

Through the design of the event, along with the outreach strategies we developed with the Agency, ID COMM played an important role in getting the message across: “progress is there, but we are not even close to the finish line”. A positive outcome from the entire exercise is the gain of solid support from relevant stakeholders, which is very important since the Agency needs to work on a multi-sectoral paradigm, communication and coordination with relevant ministries, local governments, CSOs, and potential donors are crucial pieces of the puzzle. In the short time window, the symposium was covered in 87 articles and reached an audience of approximately 80 million viewers/readers. Before, external parties may have doubts in the role and progress of the Agency, and thus the symposium with our assistance was aimed to reverse engineer those doubts.