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Jakarta Post

RI torn by conflicts over environment

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 3 2016   /  09:16 am

From Acehnese fighting to protect the Leuser National Park to Papuans resisting the expansion of palm oil companies, thousands of people across the archipelago are waging an environmental war.

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has recorded 773 cases of environmental activists being unfairly charged in the past five years, with 233 being assaulted and 28 murdered.

“We can see that assaults against activists and people who fight for their rights is still rampant,” Walhi executive director Nur “Yaya” Hidayati said.

According to her, there is a contradiction when it comes to how the government treats environmental activists and local people in environmental conflicts.

“On the one hand, the government opens up room for the public to be involved in decision making but on the other hand, repression, such as arrests, is increasing,” Yaya sai...