The Indonesian Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) Launches the Indonesian Peat Prize: A $1 million prize for the best method to map Indonesian peatlands

JAKARTA, INDONESIA, Mar 15, 2016 – The Government of Indonesia, through the Geospatial Information Agency (Badan Informasi Geospasial/BIG) launched the Indonesian Peat Prize with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The launch of the Indonesian Peat Prize is held in Jakarta, Tuesday, February 2, as part of the Indonesian Climate Festival. The event is attended by the Head of BIG, Priyadi Kardono, representing the Host of the Prize and the Director of WRI Indonesia, Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi, representing the Prize administrator.

The Indonesian Peat Prize is an ambitious, collaborative prize for finding a more accurate and faster way of mapping the extent and thickness of Indonesian peatlands. These vital peatlands have an important role in preserving biodiversity and climate stability. These lands are also in high demand by a number of stakeholders, resulting in rapidly degraded peatlands that release large stores of carbon dioxide into the air.

According to data from the National Action Plan for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (RAN – GRK), peatland carbon emissions from peat decomposition and peat fires account for 42% of Indonesia’s total emissions.

According to Priyadi Kardono, in order to address this challenge, a transformation in peatland management is needed. The first step is to quickly and accurately map peatlands. Mapping peatlands will provide the information needed to manage them efficiently and effectively—including any necessary restoration activities. “The prize challenge brings together the ingenuity, collaboration and imagination of all of Indonesia—and the entire world—on one of the great challenges of our age,” Priyadi continues.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has made peatland management a priority, with the Minister of Environment and Forestry Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar leading national peatland initiatives and the establishment of Indonesia's new peatland restoration agency on January 6, 2016. Indonesia has joined forces with countries around the world to commit to Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to address greenhouse gas emissions. As part of that effort, on December 9, 2015, the Indonesian government announced the Indonesian Peat Prize at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris. 

Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi says that the Indonesian Peat Prize will be held for two years. This competition invites teams to vie for a $1 million prize for creating and demonstrating a transparent, credible and location-agnostic methodology for mapping the extent and thickness of Indonesia’s peatlands.

“The winning method, to be announced in the fall of 2017, will also help revise a national standard for mapping Indonesian peatlands,” says Nirarta Samadhi.

The prize challenge format is a proven method for generating innovation around a specific problem. The Indonesian Peat Prize will engage governments, nonprofits, scientific institutions and the private sector as partners in supporting the entrants and ultimately the winning solution.

Students, engineers, consultants, product directors, scientists, research institutions, corporations, universities, civil society (CSO), non-government organization (NGO), and anyone with great ideas who meet the criteria is invited to register.

With the launch of the Indonesian Peat Prize, registration and qualification begin on February 2, 2016, coinciding with World Wetland Day. A Scientific Advisory Board established for this prize will review registrations and qualifications, and make recommendations about entrants, finalists and the final winner to BIG and the Packard Foundation.

Interested and eligible entrants have until May 11, 2016 to register. Visit for details.


About BIG

Originally established in 1969 as the Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping and renamed the Badan Informasi Geospasial (BIG) in 2011, BIG is an Indonesian government agency charged with managing geospatial information in Indonesia. It leads integral efforts like the One Map Initiative, an ongoing effort to create one unified map of the country's geospatial information. The two central goals of BIG are to be a hub of all Indonesian geospatial data, including integration, synchronization and cooperation, and to lead Indonesia in new, optimal ways to use this information for the good of all Indonesians.

About WRI Indonesia

WRI Indonesia is an independent research organization dedicated to contributing to the socioeconomic development of Indonesia in an inclusive and sustainable way. Established in January 2014 with its headquarter in Jakarta, WRI Indonesia is a non-profit research organization affiliated with the World Resources Institute, a global environmental think tank based in Washington D.C. WRI has a research network of over 450 experts and staff in more than 50 countries with offices in China, India, Indonesia, Europe and the United States. In Indonesia, we have run projects with partners for over 20 years, and WRI Indonesia was formally launched to build a robust in-country presence, to formalize existing partnerships, as well as strengthen our research on the ground. For further information, please visit


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