Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: Article - Recent
Date of Publication: April 16, 2019
Author(s): Bill Laurance, Penny van Oosterzee
Newspaper: The Conversation
This week, Indonesia will hold a presidential election that will make or break incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s chances of getting a second term in a rematch with his nemesis, Prabowo Subianto.
Jokowi’s re-election may put global biodiversity at risk as he is threatening to renege on a national moratorium he declared on new palm-oil plantations — which could quickly escalate deforestation in Papua, Borneo, Sumatra, and beyond.
Almost overnight, Jokowi has transformed from an environmental good-guy — someone who’s battled destructive wildfires and noxious haze, tried to slow palm oil expansion and promoted several other eco-smart measures — into a nationalistic mouthpiece for the oil palm industry.
Let’s hope this ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ transformation of Jokowi is temporary — a kind of fleeting election madness that overtakes many politicians in the heat of battle.
If not, Indonesia’s forests and the endangered species living in them will be at even more risk.
Read the full article here.