“Forest management is the matter of people who manage the forest,” a statement from Pak Agus as the moderator to close the parallel session on day-1 of the conference. He also praised the passionate presenter that gave attention to every research presentation.

That was a piece of news from the INAFOR Conference 2021, which was convened on 7-8 September 2021. INAFOR is an acronym for International Conference of Indonesia Forestry Researchers. This event is a platform for sharing research results and generating a network of scientists around the world. The Tay Juhana Foundation (TJF), which has a research program on a daily basis, tries to involve a discussion on this world forum.

Nurul Ihsan Fawzi, a principal researcher in TJF, is responsible for presenting the newest research about alleviating the risk of fires in peatland through a water management system and community engagement in Pulau Burung District, Riau Province. The study was a collaboration between TJF, a researcher from the Indonesian Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics (BMKG), the community in Pulau Burung District, and Sambu Group who managed the water management system for coconut plantation.

He presented the research on 7 September 2021 with total participants in a parallel session of up to 50 people. “I feel this conference is lively, compared to the previous conference that I attended. Because the participants are curious with many questions and discussion,” said Nurul after finishing the conference on the evening of 8 September 2021. Nurul was not alone; he was with hundreds of participants on Stream 2 – managing forest and natural resources, meeting sustainable and friendly use.

Although our presentation was not the best presenter, this conference could make sustainable peatland use more visible and applicable in the near future. As we know, ecosystem degradation haunts peatland, especially unsustainable practices. A case in Pulau Burung is exemplary; a native water management trinity system brings prosperity to the community as the mutual symbiosis between humans and nature.