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Experts see environmental, social fallout in Indonesia’s infrastructure push by Hans Nicholas Jong June 17,2020   |  Source: Mongabay

As Indonesia struggles to contain one of the deadliest coronavirus outbreaks in Asia, the country’s president has quietly issued a new regulation on eminent domain.

Signed in May, the regulation expands the types of land that can be unilaterally acquired by the state for purposes deemed to be in the public interest. Limited under a 2016 regulation to land held by state-owned companies, areas that may be subject to eminent domain under the new presidential regulation now include forests, villages, and land bequeathed for religious and charitable use.

The regulation is just one in a series of steps the government is taking to ramp up dozens of major infrastructure projects billed as key to jump-starting the economy out of the current pandemic-induced slowdown. But for conservationists, environmental activists and indigenous rights defenders, this push comes at the expense of the country’s biodiversity, its climate commitments, and its most vulnerable communities.

On the government’s docket are 89 projects, most of them newly proposed and the rest expansions of existing projects. They include roads and railways, ports and airports, dams and power plants, industrial estates and plantations. The common hurdle, says President Joko Widodo, is land acquisition.

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Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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