IN the middle of a vast, burned down forest littered with charred, blackened tree trunks, Basuki Wasis instructs one of his staff to stick a pipe into the ground. One enters right through and stops at a meter deep. A second and then a third pipe sinks easily into the swamp land. The fourth sinks, and then stops at just forty centimeters deep.
After taking ground samples, Basuki records his findings in a pocket notebook this was land with peat layers of 3.6 meters deep. "This is evidence of a violation by planting on peatland," Basuki told Tempo, who accompanied the researcher from the Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB) to the burned swamp lands, two weeks ago. A researcher from the IPB's laboratory for forest ecological systems, Basuki instructed his men to drill holes in six different locations across the peat swamp located within the Aloe Bateung Bruek village in Darul Makmur, Nagan Raya regency of Aceh.
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