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Jakarta Post

Greenwashing: The hydrodam and apes

  • Erik Meijaard
    Erik Meijaard

    Ecologist, coordinates the Borneo Futures – Science for Change initiative

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Jakarta   /   Wed, February 13, 2019   /  12:08 pm
Greenwashing: The hydrodam and apes A large hydroelectrical project is planned right in the middle of the most important habitat for highly threatened orangutan in Batang Toru, North Sumatra. (Matty Neikrug/Matty Neikrug)

I normally enjoy Wimar Witoelar’s writings on critical Indonesia-related issues. Wimar often manages to put complex political issues in a much clearer context, while writing with wit. His article “Developing infrastructure in a democracy” (The Jakarta Post Jan. 31, 2019), unfortunately, is neither critical nor clear, and smacks of corporate greenwashing. 

Wimar’s story goes like this. Indonesia’s economy grows fast. It needs renewable energy. A multifaceted approval process has therefore approved to build the Batang Toru hydrodam. We need this as it reflects the will of the people. 

Unfortunately, a critical endangered ape, the Tapanuli orangutan, sits in the way as the dam will destroy part of its habitat. But luckily scientists are tracking the apes to make sure they are not endangered by the development of the ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.