Forest Investment Program: Additional conflicts and problems to people in Indonesia
Below is a statement by the Alliance of Yogyakarta Civil Society Against the Forest Investment Plan condemning the Indonesian government’s Forest Investment Program (FIP); specifically its negative impacts on the lives and livelihoods of Indonesian rural women and men. In line with this, the Alliance also staged a protest action in front of the venue of the FIP Pilot Countries Meeting last September 24, 2013.
Forest Investment Program: additional conflicts and problems to people in Indonesia
Alliance of Yogyakarta Civil Society Against the Forest Investment Plan
(Aliansi Masyarakat Sipil Yogyakarta untuk Penolakan Rencana Investasi Kehutanan)
“We, the Yogyakarta civil society oppose the FIP Indonesia because it increases the Indonesian debt, intensifies conflicts over land tenure, violence, corruption, and triggers furthermore climate and gender injustices. We also criticize the FIP Pilot Countries Meeting in Yogyakarta due to its non-transparent information and non-inclusive manner to peoples’ monitoring”.
Forest Investment Program (FIP) is holding a FIP Pilot Countries Meeting on September 24-26, 2013 in Hotel Inna Garuda in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to update progress of FIP in the respective pilot countries.
FIP is one of two funds within the framework of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) hosted by the World Bank. Despite strong protests from the Indonesian civil society, FIP Sub-Committee approved FIP for Indonesia on November 5, 2012 with a total financing of US$ 70 million channeled through the World Bank, ADB, and IFC. Indonesian FIP will be implemented in 15 provinces, among others in Yogyakarta Province, without any detailed information about the project’s sites.
This FIP Meeting should not be held in Indonesia considering the strong resistance of Indonesian civil society against FIP Indonesia. The Indonesian government does not consider objections from its own people against the Indonesian FIP; in the contrary, limits access of civil society to information about FIP Indonesia and also involvement of civil society to observe the FIP Pilot Countries meeting.
The strong opposition of the Indonesian civil society to FIP Indonesia was raised in many meetings and through letters since its initial stage in 2010. In June 2013 the Community Chamber of the Indonesian Forestry Council (Dewan Kehutanan Nasional/DKN) in a national dialogue on FIP Indonesia in June 2013 in Bogor, Indonesia, concluded the same. This confirmed further that people in Indonesia do not believe FIP Indonesia as capable to solve underlying problems in Indonesian forest sector.
In its drafting process FIP Indonesia ignored the rights of the people to information and to decision-makings, and also ignored the involvement of women. This ignorant behavior continues. Indonesian CSOs had expressed interest to monitor the FIP Pilot Countries Meeting in Yogyakarta and sent a request on September 16, 2013 to FIP Indonesia focal point Mr. Agus Sarsito. Until the FIP Meeting is conducted, there is no response to that request. This indicates clearly that the Indonesian government, in this case the FIP Indonesia Team, is not committed for transparency and inclusiveness in FIP matter.
In its implementation the Indonesian government stubbornly pursues FIP Indonesia without considering the objections of the civil society. “It is a government program, so it has to be pursued …” was a response from a DKN official to the heated pro-cons debate among DKN chambers. This kind of mind-set and the ignorance of the Indonesian government to the voices of its peoples against FIP Indonesia, show an oppressive and undemocratic nature of FIP Indonesia.
Considering military interventions to Indonesian government conservation efforts, this oppressive and undemocratic nature of FIP Indonesia, is very alarming. Those interventions are based on: (1) Law nr. 34/ 2004 that allows military to conduct operations beyond war, to support government goals in conservation efforts, and to be integrated until village level where there are conservation activities; (2) a cooperation between Indonesian military force with Environmental Ministry dated June 3, 2010 on environmental protection and management; and (3) the agreement between the Ministry of Forestry and the military force dated March 24, 2011 regarding forest rehabilitation, including pre-condition its activities. FIP Indonesia would also lead to increasing military interventions to the forestry sector.
FIP Indonesia is not designed to solve conflicts on land tenure in forest areas. It ignores the protection to forest and communities who are dependent on forest. In the contrary, FIP Indonesia is private sector driven and to further their interventions into the forestry sector. This direction will put additional burden to people who are already marginalized and impoverished due to failed, corrupt and oppressive government. FIP Indonesia was also drafted by ignoring international conventions and standards of human rights, including the UN Covenant on Civil-Political Rights, UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW )and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), as well as the safeguards of the World Bank, ADB and IFC.
FIP Indonesia will bring benefits to private businesses in forestry sector only. For example, FIP Indonesia includes 750,000 ha, majority owned by forest concession holders, wood plantations and also oil-palm plantations. Hence, FIP Indonesia will strengthen expropriation and marginalization of rights of indigenous and local communities and women in the governance their forest resources.
The FIP Pilot Countries Meeting in Yogyakarta September 24-26, 2013 indicates unserious behavior of the Indonesian government in solving the forest problems particularly and climate change problems in general, and the inability in involving their own peoples in meaningful ways.
Hence, the Alliance of Yogyakarta Civil Society Against Forest Investment Plan for Indonesia call the Indonesian government for:
no loan for Indonesian forest sector;
do not conduct all forms of activities in forest sector that trigger injustices to people and women;
fulfill the obligations to respect the rights of peoples –men and women- to access to information and involvement to all processes in decision-makings, in this case any plan in regard to forest;
call international communities, including the World Bank, ADB and IFC to:
be responsible to reduce emission in their own industrialized countries;
do not shift the responsibility of emission reduction to indigenous and local peoples;
do not finance emission reduction activities to oppressive and undemocratic governments, including the Indonesian government.
Yogyakarta, September 23, 2013.
LBH Yogyakarta, AKSARA, YASANTI, Forum LSM Yogyakarta, Walhi Yogyakarta, Perempuan Mahardhika, Jaringan Perempuan Yogyakarta, Aliansi Buruh Yogyakarta, Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice, Solidaritas Perempuan
1. Hamzal Wahyudin, LBH (Legal Aid Foundation) Yogyakarta – email@example.com
2. Puspa Dewy, Solidaritas Perempuan, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Marhaeni Nasution, Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice, email@example.com