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Jakarta Post

Greenwashing: The hydrodam and apes

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)
Erik Meijaard
Jakarta   ●   Wed, February 13, 2019

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 o...

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