New Report Calculates Cost of International Climate Aid to Indonesian Economy and Jobs

NGO World Growth finds climate aid programs could cost Indonesia 3.5 million jobs annually

Research reveals forest emissions significantly overstated

JAKARTA – A new report released today in Jakarta concludes that international climate aid programs underway in Indonesia today intended to limit expansion of forest-related industries could cost the Indonesian economy 3.5 million jobs annually, reducing export revenues and hampering sustainable development initiatives according to NGO World Growth.

According to World Growth, programs backed by international aid agencies like USAID and high-profile environmental groups such as Greenpeace and WWF will have a large negative impact on the Indonesian economy.

“Greenpeace has been calling for a complete suspension of agriculture, mining and forest licenses in Indonesia,” said Alan Oxley, Chairman of the pro-growth NGO World Growth.  “This would cost the Indonesian economy up to 3.5 million jobs annually, cut growth to industries that make up 15 per cent of the economy, and cut revenues to the Indonesian government, hampering its ability to sustainably manage Indonesia’s forest areas and continue poverty alleviation efforts.”

Ambassador Alan Oxley made the comments to leading Indonesian government officials and business leaders at the first annual World Growth REDD Indonesia Stakeholder Forum in Jakarta today, where the organization released a report that assesses the impact of forest climate aid programs and environmental NGO-backed conservation projects on the Indonesian economy.

“International aid donors have promised close to USD2 billon to Indonesia to support programs that unnecessarily crimp expansion of its most important industries – forestry, palm oil and mining – to reduce emissions from deforestation.  However, a close examination of the facts that underpin this case reveals the economics of deforestation are weak, overstated and are no more than half of previous estimates.  The emission reduction targets sought by aid donors now risk significant harm to the Indonesian economy.
 
“At the same time, WWF and Greenpeace have been calling for the expansion of conservation areas throughout Indonesia to reduce emissions.  Doing so would cut smallholders off from land to grow food, make them subsistent on government handouts and susceptible to food price shocks, establish communities and find shelter,”
said Ambassador Oxley.

“The World Growth report points out that the areas that WWF have lobbied to be turned into protected areas have been severely degraded and deforested by local communities.  It has resulted in poor people and a poor environment.
 
“Despite this, they are calling for these protected areas to be expanded.  This is an act of irresponsibility towards Indonesia’s poor and its biodiversity.  WWF and Greenpeace claim they supports sustainable development, but killing jobs in Indonesia is neither sustainable nor development.”

Click here to read the report, How REDD Will Impoverish the Developing World and Reduce Biodiversity; An Indonesian Case Study

To speak with World Growth’s experts or find out more about its work, please email media@worldgrowth.org or call +1-866-467-7200.

World Growth is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established to expand the research, information, advocacy, and other resources to improve the economic conditions and living standards in developing and transitional countries. At World Growth, we embrace the age of globalization and the power of free trade to eradicate poverty and create jobs and opportunities. World Growth supports the production of palm oil and the use of forestry as a means to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. World Growth believes a robust cultivation of palm oil and forestry provides an effective means of environmental stewardship that can serve as the catalyst for increasing social and economic development.  For more information on World Growth, visit www.worldgrowth.org.

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