JAKARTA — An Indonesian government initiative that fell short of its goal to rehabilitate degraded peat forests will get another chance to do so — plus the added task of rehabilitating mangrove habitats. Indonesian President Joko Widodo extended the mandate of the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) through to 2024, after it expired at the end of 2020. He had established the agency in 2016 in the wake of widespread peatland fires the previous year, and tasked it with restoring more than 2.6 million hectares (6.4 million acres) of degraded peatlands — an area nearly three times the size of Puerto Rico — to prevent future fires. The 2.6 million hectares target consists of 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) of peat outside concessions and 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) inside concessions. By the end of 2020, however, the BRG had managed to restore 835,288 hectares (2.06 million acres) of peatland outside concession areas, or 94% of its target. With the four-year extension, the agency now has a chance to hit that target. But it will also have to rehabilitate 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of degraded mangrove; it’s now called the Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency, or BRGM. Its working area has also been expanded in light of its new mission. While the BRG previously focused on seven provinces with extensive swaths of peat forest, the BRGM must now work in 13 provinces. The six additional ones are the mangrove-rich provinces of North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Bangka-Belitung, East Kalimantan, North…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer