Peat Care Independent Villages

By: Hermawansyah

Dynamist of BRG (Badan Restorasi Gambut) RI West Kalimantan Province

 

The government of West Kalimantan province recently launched the status of the Villages Development Index (IDM) 2020. Out of 2,031 villages throughout West Kalimantan, there are 214 Independent Villages, 322 Developed Villages, 907 Developing Villages, 566 Underdeveloped Villages and 12 Highly Underdeveloped Villages. In 2019, IDM in West Kalimantan showed 87 Independent Villages, 188 Developed Villages, 767 Developing Villages, 781 Disadvantaged Villages and 208 Highly Disadvantaged Villages, while from 2017-2018 there was only 1 Independent Village.

The data above shows a significant increase in the change of IDM status in West Kalimantan. This is, for sure, the result of Governor Sutarmidji’s policy through governor’s regulation 1/2019 about the Acceleration of Village Advancement and Independence Status Improvement. The Governor’s policy is a form of concern and strong commitment to the village development agenda. It was proven that in a short period of time, it was able to escalate the IDM status of villages in West Kalimantan.

IDM, according to the regulations of the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, Republic of Indonesia, 2/2016, is a Composite Index formed from the Social Resilience Index (IKS), Economic Resilience Index (IKE) and Environmental Resilience Index (IKL). This policy is an instrument to measure the progress of village development in five status categories, namely Independent Villages, Developed Villages, Developing Villages, Disadvantaged Villages and Highly Disadvantaged Villages. And, praise to God, the status of IDM in West Kalimantan is exhilarating.

The question is, how was the involvement of other parties who contributed to the fulfilment of the IDM indicators?

 

Synergy and Collaboration

The efforts to accelerate the status improvement of village development and independence by the provincial government of West Kalimantan is supposed to be supported. On various occasions, the Governor always invites stakeholders to take part in the strategic agenda. Not only the district and village governments, but also related agencies, NGOs, the private sector, universities, even the Regional Police and the Tanjungpura Regional Military Command XII proactively were involved. Several IDM indicators regarding the duties of police and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), such as security and crime, conflict resolution, disasters, have also become the attention of Bhabinkamtibmas and Babinsa in the field. Reciprocally, the IDM indicators which intersect with the work of NGOs in the village, is also emphasized to contribute. For example, 1,150 villages located around 17 Forest Management Units (KPH) throughout West Kalimantan. The Forest Department with NGO formulated a road map and a strategy to involve stakeholders in an effort to improve the IDM status of villages around the forest areas.

Governor’s regulation 1/2019 has detailed the division of tasks and responsibilities to fulfill the 54 IDM indicators between provincial, regency and village governments. Regional body for planning and development (Bappeda) and the Department of Village Community Empowerment formulated a Regional Action Plan and formed a Task Force of Independent Villages. All activities of Regional Apparatus Organizations (OPD) are directed towards the fulfillment of IDM indicators according to their scope of work. Likewise, the regency and village governments, there are also other programs which contribute directly to the status improvement of village development.

The Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (KemendesPDTT) village assistance program has levelled assistants from village to province. Village Areas (KP) are designated as National Priority Village Areas (KPPN). KPPN receives direct assistance from the Ministry of Education and Culture with the funding from National Budget and other institutions. Agropolitan Rasau KP Raya, Agribusiness Kayong Lestari KP and Agropolitan Sandaniang KP are assisted by the NSLIC-RIF program funded by the Government of Canada.

A program that is also in synergy with the village development agenda is the Peat Care Villages (DPG), fronted by Board of Peat Restoration (BRG), Republic of Indonesia. In the implementation of the program, BRG collaborated with NSLIC-RIF. For example, 8 out of 16 villages in the Kayong Lestari Agribusiness KP are DPG. Likewise, 1 out of 9 Agropolitan Rasau Raya KP is a DPG.

 

Peat Care Villages

Peat Care Villages (DPG) was launched by the Deputy of Education, Socialization, Participation and Partnership of BRG RI in seven provinces targeted for peat restoration, including in West Kalimantan.  DPG was designed as a framework to harmonize the programs and activities in peat villages and as a common measuring tool to determine the program’s contribution to the achievement of village development. In other words, DPG is a peat restoration strategy, namely rewetting, revegetation and revitalization based on village communities at the site level.

DPG approach is the development of villages based on the peat ecosystem landscape. DPG works in village areas within the Peat Hydrological Area (KHG). The nearby villages will be tied in a cooperation in a Peat Village Area.

There are seven main activities of DPG, they are; (1), Village and Community Assistance (village facilitator placement), (2), Social, economic and spatial mapping (thematic maps and village profiles), (3), Integration of peat restoration in village planning documents (RPJMDes, RKPDes APBDes) , (4), Local institution and regulation strengthening (Perdes, Perkades, SK Kades, Pokmas, MPA, Poktan), (5), Economic empowerment (training, productive economic assistance, strengthening BUMDes, superior products), (6), Local innovation and appropriate technology strengthening (peat farmer field schools, food and craft artists), and (7), conflict resolution and peat restoration monitoring.

From 2017 to 2019, BRG had assisted 49 DPGs in Kubu Raya, Mempawah, Sambas and Kayong Utara Regencies. In 2020, this is implemented in 32 villages in Kubu Raya, Sambas, Ketapang and Kayong Utara. The funding for these activities is not only from the National Budget, but also from partners and donor agencies. The partnership assisted 31 villages and YIARI (Foundation of Initiation of Nature Rehabilitation in Indonesia) assisted 4 villages in Ketapang. Now, 9 more villages are being prepared together with one of the local NGOs. Reaching the end of this year, BRG and its partners have been assisting 90 DPGs in West Kalimantan.

The activities of DPG resulted in several achievements, including the village profile which was legalized and became an official document of village government. The village profile, beside contains socio-economic information, also includes maps of land administration, use and tenure. This document can help the village government as the data reference to compile village planning. In addition, village regulation and SK from the Head of the village are related to the peat restoration agenda. The villages which have forest areas are also facilitated for social forestry proposal. In 2018, there were 8 proposals for Village Forest and Community Forest (HKm) which were technically verified, and 4 new proposals are being facilitated since 2019.

Dozens of field school cadres have been trained and practiced the method of land management without burning (PLTB) in their village demonstration plot. The PLTB demonstration plot covers an area between 0.5 and 2 hectares in every village. It is planted with various types of horticultural commodities such as corn, pineapple, ginger, chilies, eggplant, tomatoes, taro, long beans, and other vegetables and fruits.

Elementary school teachers from peat villages also got trained in teaching methods about recognizing the peat ecosystem from an early age. Similarly, the preachers in the villages were involved as Da’i of peat. BRG and Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI) made a guide to peat restoration da’wah. Community knots, village officials and youth were trained to become paralegals. BRG in collaboration with BPHN-KemenkumHAM RI compiled the training curriculum.

The village facilitators facilitated the forming of an MPA or Land and Forest Fire (Karhutla) Task Force, strengthening of farmers’ groups, assistance in demonstration plots, Village Owned Enterprises (BUMDes), superior products, and guarding the village deliberation process in drafting the Action plans of village government (RKPDes). From 26 DPG 2019, activities related to peat restoration, including handling of forest and land fires in RKPDes  2020, the total is Rp. 1.3 billion.

 

Index of DPG

In DPG program, the measurement of qualitative achievement is carried out using the DPG Index instrument. IDPG adopts IDM with three main parameters namely IKS, IKE and IKL. However, the dimensions, variables and indicators which are assessed are simpler than IDM. In IDM, the three parameters are derived into 6 dimensions, 22 variables and 54 indicators, while IDPG has only 3 dimensions, 12 variables and 33 indicators. The emphasis is on IKL with a greater scoring (45%) than IKS (20%) and IKE (35%). This index also makes five categories of DPG status, namely Empowered Village, Recovered Village, Adaptive Village, Vulnerable Village and Highly Vulnerable Village.

The village facilitators, in their early days, were in charge of conducting the IDPG survey, then in December another survey was again conducted. This was done to figure out the progress and results of the program intervention at the end of the year. From the IDPG survey conducted at the end of 2019, it appears, for example, that in March the status of an Adaptive or Recovered Village, at the end of the year had progressed to an Empowered Village. Reciprocally, those whose status is Highly Vulnerable and Vulnerable can improve to Adaptive or Recovered.

Then, what is the correlation between IDPG and IDM? It turns out that when the IDPG is overlaid with IDM, it shows a conformable position. For example, if the IDPG status is Empowered, the IDM status will be Advanced or Independent.

 

From Peat Care Village (DPG) to Peat Care Independent Village (DMPG)

In the first 5 years of peat restoration, BRG and partners have assisted 525 villages in seven provinces. Praise to God, it exceeded the initial target which wast set at 500 villages. In the 2020-2024 RPJMN compiled by the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) RI, the nomenclature of the program is to become Peat Care Independent Village (DMPG).

The details stated that DMPG was implemented in 375 villages in seven priority provinces for restoration and 300 villages in 12 non-priority provinces for restoration. From the title of the program, what the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin’s government has concerned and targeted can be seen in this second term. The issue of village independence still becomes the focus in nine-point development agenda (Nawacita) chapter II. Not only was the Ministry of Education and Forestry assigned, but also BRG and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry were specifically mandated with DMPG program.

Learning from the experience of the last four years, the DMPG program is certainly not a new thing. It is just a matter of adjustment, conformity and sharpening of the success indicators of the program. It is primarily related to the synergy and collaboration among the ministries/institutions, local governments, villages and related stakeholders. Moreover, if the DMPG starts at achieving village independence, BRG has tested it with the index of DPG which is coherent with IDM.

 

Published in Opinion column, Pontianak Post on Saturday, July 4, 2020

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