Indonesia: NGOs plainly misleading, about time to ban them?

Source: the internet


Indonesia is facing another NGO scandal. The Minister of Forestry, herself under considerable fire over the disputes with the domestic palm oil and paper industry leaders, in a U-turn, had to distance herself after World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Norwegian embassy caught in peddling in misleading information about peat swamps maps. long the voice for the ministry has, rightfully truth to power, pointed out the false information peddled by WRI and the Norwegians. However, many argue if the actions by the minister are populist tactics since the minister now claims the peatland decision was not made based on NGO reporting. What is the Norwegian embassy funding and what are the NGOs getting monies for remains a mystery.

Also under fire is the head of the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), Nazir Foaed, former WWF Indonesia, and Climate Land Use Alliance (CLUA) employee. On the sides, CLUA, in a recent meeting held by the Ministry of Forestry and State Intelligence Agency (BIN) officials was listed as a foreign NGO designed to disrupt the unity of Indonesia. It raises the question is the Jokowi administration influenced by foreign NGO interests?

Foaed has been long criticized by officials for the sloppy work done by his agency. labelled the peatland maps provided by the BRG as both legally and technically erroneous. wrote,

“….The minister pointed out that four datasets of the detailed analysis derived from LiDAR mapping performed in four-peat hydrological units (KHG), submitted by the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) in August this year, have not been used by the ministry whatsoever…..”

Many voices argue the NGOs are conducting a “black campaign” smearing the Indonesian companies. Now in the latest Slap Around Policy (SAP) process the minister now turned her attention to another lucrative target, Freeport.

The Jokowi administration ignorant about the threat these groups pose to the economy of Indonesia. The Indian government saw the threat to the national economic security and banned Greenpeace and some foreign NGOs. Argentina, the organizer of the WTO conference denied access to the Finnish NGO Siemenpuu and Friends of the Earth. In Indonesia, Siemenpuu has a long history with the local Marxist party and leftist leaning individuals who pose as activists.

Jokowi’s agrarian reforms are not performing. A recent Nasdaq report pointed out that Indonesian officials are “baffled” by the poor agrarian performance but the lack of comprehension by the Jokowi administration remains one of the key hurdles for prosperity. Halting the agricultural industry, the moratorium has created an economic vacuum. Agrarian forecasts by Indonesian officials are overly optimistic. In the absence of a new agrarian economy to replace the current industry, punitive, even hostile relationships with the domestic industry, has not encouraged the domestic palm oil and paper and pulp industry or foreign agricultural investors.

The green vision of the populist Jokowi is unlikely to perform. Driven by foreign NGO paranoid fears of instant doom, the administration has bought into the global hysteria. CLUA strategies call for Indonesia removing additional forest holdings from private hands. Jokowi officials are unlikely comprehending the implications for the industry and the revenues of the state.

Even with the land repossessions executed by the current administration, faint shadows from the Mugabe regime cast a long shadow over Indonesia. Politically and economically, these policies were a disaster. Once the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe’s’ agriculture has collapsed. The country is poverty-stricken. Important lessons for Indonesian officials who pursue some socialist, green fantasy.

The foreign investment community looks very closely at the land repossession move against one of the largest taxpayers in the country. Many in the commodity investment markets argue if Jokowi does not respect his own industry, which employs about 41.1 million Indonesians how will the Jokowi administration guarantee foreign investment? According to public statements, the administration is trying to redistribute 40 or more million hectares of land to the public.

The Indian government after figuring out foreign NGOs cost the Indian economy about 2-3% GDP banned Greenpeace and shot the Ford Foundation a sharp shot across the bow. Maybe the administration needs a sharpen the pencil and wakes up once the 2-3 % GDP loss is experienced as a result of the foreign NGO campaign, and activists within the ranks of the administration.

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