in Germany, Indonesia

On-going land conflicts at Harapan Rainforest Project: As a key funder of Harapan, what is the German Government’s response?

In November 2012, Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan, visited the Harapan Rainforest Project in Jambi Province, Sumatra. “The squatters must be removed from the forest and moved to another place,” he said. “Do not allow the recovery programme of the last lowland forest in Sumatra to fail.”

A few days ago, Ministry of Forestry notices were posted in an area of the Harapan Rainforest Project where around 500 people are living. The notices state: “Warning! This area must be vacated. All illegal activities are forbidden!” The people living there are given one week to leave.

The conflict over land in and around the Harapan Rainforest Project has been going on for several years. The first post on REDD-Monitor about Harapan was in December 2008. Sarwadi Sukiman, a farmer and member of Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI – Indonesian Farmers Union), travelled to Poznan to complain about the way the Harapan Rainforest Project had been treating farmers living in what had become a conservation area (previously it had been a logging concession).

The Harapan Rainforest Project is surrounded by oil palm and logging concessions. There is little doubt that without the project the forest would be destroyed. The project accuses SPI farmers of building houses and farming, “deep inside Harapan, on a scale large enough to compromise the ecological integrity of the forest”.

The project is supported by a range of funders, including Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation Nuclear Safety (BMU), Singapore Airlines, Conservation International and the European Union. Support also comes from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, NABU, in Germany. Despite the four-year-long conflict, no process of conflict resolution has been successfully established at Harapan.

BMU has given a €7,575,000 grant to Harapan, which is being implemented by Germany’s KfW Bank. Earlier this year, KfW carried out a mission to Harapan. Little information about the project is available on either BMU’s or KfW’s websites. On 5 December 2012, REDD-Monitor wrote to BMU and KfW to request more information about the German government’s actions to help address the land conflict at Harapan. BMU responded only to request more time. KfW has so far not replied. The emails are below, with the response from BMU. REDD-Monitor looks forward to posting BMU’s and KfW’s full response, in particular KfW’s report from its mission earlier this year.


UPDATE – 19 December 2012: REDD-Monitor received an email from KfW today, explaining that BMU and KfW are currently coordinating a response which will be sent in due course. REDD-Monitor will post the response in full when it arrives.

UPDATE – 21 December 2012: The response from Germany’s International Climate Initiative is available here.


From: Chris Lang
Date: 5 December 2012 10:11
Subject: Harapan project and BMU
To: Michael Huettner (Programmbuero Klima, BMU)

Dear Michael,

Greetings from Jakarta! My name is Chris Lang and I work on a website called REDD-Monitor (www.redd-monitor.org). I understand that BMU, through its International Climate Initiative, is supporting the Harapan project in Sumatra. There are several posts on REDD-Monitor about Harapan, here.

As I’m sure you are aware, there is a serious on-going conflict between people living near the Harapan project area and PT REKI, the company that is managing the project. The project has released photographs and satellite images showing the settlements inside the project area and the resulting damage to the forest. I was surprised, therefore, to find the following statement on BMU’s website, implying that there is no conflict (dated 23 July 2012):
 

    “In consultation with the residents, the project creates new sources of income through reforestation work, the use of non-timber products, sustainable agriculture in the buffer zone and ecotourism. Together with the local authorities, Yayasan KEHI engages in an ongoing dialogue with new settlers to keep them informed of the current geographical boundaries and to enter into agreements on sustainable use of the forest.”

Further evidence of the ongoing conflict, from the Harapan project perspective, is documented here. According to a recent post about a visit to Harapan by the Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan, 17,000 hectares of the project area has been occupied. The Minister’s response was to say that, “The squatters must be removed from the forest and moved to another place.”

I understand that in August this year, KfW (which is implementing the €7,575,000 BMU grant for Harapan) sent a mission to Harapan. Could you please send me a copy of KfW’s report of the mission? I have also written to Marcus Stewen at KfW to request a copy of the report.

On 19 September 2012 (i.e. after KfW’s mission), the Federal Government responded to a “Kleine Anfrage” about Germany’s involvement in REDD. The Government response included the following statement about Harapan:
 

    “Criticism has been raised in the context of a tropical forest conservation project in Indonesia (protection of the “Harapan Rainforest” in Sumatra, supported by the International Climate Initiative of BMU). In the project good relations based on partnership exist with the Indigenous People living there, whereby mistakes and inaccuracies were detected in the media coverage. The complaints are thus not from the local population, but by new settlers who exploit the partially unclear legal situation and partly promoting illegal logging and land grabbing in protected areas under the cover of advocacy for the rights of small farmers. A clarification process with Indonesian (government) institutions has been initiated.”

Could you please provide further details of the “clarification process” that has been initiated with the Indonesian government? Which Indonesian government institutions are involved? Which organisation initiated the clarification process?

Is BMU, KfW, Yayasan KEHI, PT REKI or any other institution involved with the Harapan project in the process of establishing a conflict resolution process, or already involved in a conflict resolution process?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. I would be grateful if you could respond by 12 December 2012. Please consider your response to be on the record.

Regards, Chris Lang

 

From: Göhler, Daniela (BMU)
Date: 5 December 2012 16:58
Subject: AW: Harapan project and BMU
To: Chris Lang, REDD-Monitor
Cc: Huettner, Michael (Programmbuero Klima, BMU), Tscherning, Karen (Programmbuero Klima, BMU), Reuter, Hanna (Programmbuero Klima, BMU), Freiberg, Horst (BMU), Specht, Rudolf (BMU)

Dear Chris,

Thank your for your email. We are aware of the situation you describe and have been trying to uncover what is happening in Harapan, what is being reported through various channels, and what can or should be done to solve the conflictive situation together with the Indonesian government. We remain engaged sur place mainly through the implementing organisations of the project (KfW and NABU) and the German Embassy in Jakarta.

We will certainly compile information in order to respond to your questions and to help promoting transparency and conflict resolution. I believe that we share the same interest here.

I can assure you that we take this serious. That is why we may need some more time to get back to you (after Dec 12th). I hope for your understanding, you will hear from us as soon as possible.

Best regards,
Daniela

_______________________________________________
Daniela Göhler
Advisor

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Division E III 7, International Climate Finance, International Climate Initiative

 

From: Chris Lang
Date: 5 December 2012 10:14
Subject: Harapan project and KfW
To: Marcus Stewen (KfW)

Dear Marcus,

Greetings from Jakarta! My name is Chris Lang and I work on a website called REDD-Monitor (www.redd-monitor.org). I understand that KfW is the implementing agency for a €7,575,000 grant from BMU for the Harapan project in Sumatra, Indonesia.

There are several posts on REDD-Monitor about Harapan, here.

I’m afraid I could find very little information on the KfW website about the project and would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:

1. I understand that at least two KfW missions to Sumatra have taken place to look into the Harapan project, one in 2011 and one this year. Could you please send me copies of the reports from these missions?

2. As I’m sure you are aware, there is a serious on-going land conflict between the project managers, PT REKI, and people living near the project area. The project has released photographs and satellite images showing the settlements inside the project area and the resulting damage to the forest. What is KfW doing to address these problems and what has KfW done over the past three years of the project to address these problems, or to ensure that the project management is addressing the problems?

3. The conflict is not a recent phenomena. In 2008, Sarwadi Sukiman of the SPI – Indonesian Farmers Union travelled to Poznan to protest about the Harapan project. That is one year before the KfW project started. What due diligence did KfW carry out before the project started? Did KfW (or BMU) make any attempt to determine whether a process of free, prior and informed consent had been carried out with all the local communities living around the Harapan project?

4. The Harapan project has set up a blog to document the conflicts. According to a recent post 17,000 hectares of the project area has been occupied. On a recent visit to Harapan, the Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan said, “The squatters must be removed from the forest and moved to another place.” What is KfW’s response to this approach to the conflict?

5. According to a press release on KfW’s website, last year you informed Prince Charles about the results of KfW’s 2011 mission to Sumatra. Did you mention the land conflict with local communities?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. I would be grateful if you could respond by 12 December 2012. Please consider your response to be on the record.

Regards, Chris Lang

Leave a Reply

19 Comments

  1. Hey Chris what solution would recommend to solve the problem that is happening in Harapan at the moment?

  2. I think it is pretty clear what solution Chris would recommend, as indicated by his question “Did KfW (or BMU) make any attempt to determine whether a process of free, prior and informed consent had been carried out with all the local communities living around the Harapan project?” “All the local communities” means anyone who lives in the area, whether with ancestors there from centuries ago right up to today. As Chris will know, the great majority of the “local communities” (over 95%) are recent frontier migrants from other areas. And tomorrow, and next year ad nauseam. That means he wants everyone who comes into the area to give their consent to keeping forest. Which of course the majority will not do. Which means he advocates total loss of lowland rainforests in Sumatra (and noting with increasing alarm that Harapan is the very last lowland forest in Sumatra with a hope in hell of being retained). Chris – please tell us something that will help to convince us that you are anything more than an embittered and cloud cuckoo land spoiler.

  3. @J Payne (#2) – Thanks for this comment, but as far as I’m aware nobody expects free, prior and informed consent to be applied to people who were not living in the area when the project was being designed. The reason I asked that and other questions to KfW was to see whether they were aware of the land conflict before they became involved and if so, what they proposed to do about it.

    Just to clarify, I do not advocate total loss of lowland rainforests in Sumatra. Neither do I believe that “fortress conservation” will preserve the forests.

    I don’t know what the solution to the land conflict at Harapan is. A process of conflict resolution would probably help. I am surprised how little formal communication there seems to have been between the project developers and the SPI farmers. And I’m concerned that levels of violence could increase.

    If I were “an embittered and cloud cuckoo land spoiler”, why would I have posted Harapan Rainforest Project’s version of events April 2012?

  4. It strikes me that however recent are the people in Harapan, they still cannot be deprived of their livelihoods simply to fulfill the objectives of some internationally-funded project that was ill-conceived, if well meaning, from the outset.

    If all the lowland forests of Sumatra have really been reduced to this one miserable logged-over site, then it seems that is the Indonesian government that should be sorting out the mess if has created, as well as all the people that have no doubt made mountains of money from planting palm oil and clearing timber all over the island. Where were these incomers before they were in Harapan? In areas that were taken over for palm oil concessions? Let them go back there and have the plantations. Give them some of the money that should be in the national reforestation fund (but of course has actually been stolen by the governing kleptocracy) and reward them well for replanting instead of felling.

    Above all, stop making them pay for a problem that is not theirs.

  5. Where to start. First apologies to Chris. Your reply shows patience, not embitterment. But after 30 years of personal experience on the ground, in situations similar to but far simpler than Harapan, it is so wearying to get advice from people who may have spent only a few days at an area in question. When a small group of people decide they want to do something,they need money. And lots over long periods, with certain types of financing commitments, because any “conservation programme” needs a 20-50 year time frame. Working with big corporate donors is potentially easier than with governments but can also be the kiss of death when do-gooders come in and criticise NGO-corporate relationships. So goverment financing is safer.The key years tend to be 3-10, after the initial hiccups are over, and the beginning of the long haul starts. Once you have started to sort out government bureaucrats, mainstream NGOs, older people who did something similar 30 years ago and think we have to do the same thing again, biologists and other scientists, and the odd psychopath, still have to deal with the do-gooders. Whether it’s animal welfare, earth welfare or people welfare. They can make or break a good programme. Please spend 5-10 years doing conflict resolution on the ground, not theoretical conflict resolution. And you will see there will never be resolution of anything. Like history, conflict resolution is just one damned thing after another. The spoilers see their do-gooder allies will always help them with a new way in. Bite the bullet and do what has to be done. This is NOT incompatible with ethics and fairness. People on the ground (not donors, government, or any external observers) will know who are the real bad guys, who are the good guys and who are victims. I will respond to X Witness separately.

  6. X Witness. First, if your life is in danger from the oknums, towkays or brokers who are behind the clearance of forest in Harapan, stick with this name. If not, please reveal who you are. I am sorry to be offensive to the many wonderful people of Jambi and SumSel provinces, but can you imagine California in 1848? Please force yourself to do so and then understand the context of your comments on the roles of government and burgeoning industry and (although not explicitly said)life during the once-only land race.
    If you wish to help, go and find out exactly who are the people in government and exactly which business enterprises are behind specific locations of forest clearance. Then decide how to deal with them. I wish you luck. The people working on the ground to halt forest clearance have more stresses and fears than most of us can imagine. Help them. If you want to help the pawns (apologies to them also, but a useful short-hand)do it in ways other than undermining to Harapan concept.

  7. J Payne. What does “Bite the bullet and do what needs to be done” mean? Who decides what needs to be done? And who are the “people on the ground” you refer to? Do you consider the people who live there as being “on the ground”?

    Programmes that are imposed on local communities, whether by NGO/Corporate partnerships or NGO/Government partnerships, no matter how well intentioned, will likely fail. Conflict resolution can work, but only if the conflicting parties sit down at the table together (in this case the local communities, the government of Indonesia and those who are funding and carrying out the Harapan Rainforest Project). Simply forcing the families that live in the area to leave creates a whole host of other problems. Do we ignore these problems, or just hope that the do-gooders take care of them?

  8. Two questions before I am able to respond :
    (1) what is your definition of “Local community”? (2) which parts of Indonesia do you have experience of where local communities (including recent frontier zone immigrant flows bent on land acquisition from pre-existing communities), government of Indonesia and those who are working to save the last rainforest have sat down together and generated a successful compromise solution acceptable and workable to all?

  9. @ J Payne

    A couple of observations and questions on your responses to me and others:

    1. You seem to believe that ‘conflict resolution’ is a hopeless concept in this situation – and no doubt you are right that the examples of where such resolution over land conflicts have been a success in Indonesia are very few and far between. But are you therefore saying that KfW/GoI can only achieve their objectives by IMPOSING a solution – ultimately, perhaps, by force? When you say ‘bite the bullet’, do you really mean ‘start loading the bullets’?

    2. What do you think is more important in this case: a/ to find an equitable and sustainable, if very difficult, solution through resolution, negotiation and compromise, or b/ to impose a solution which may, at best, simply serve to shift the problem elsewhere?

    I think it is critically important to answer the second question because, without knowing much of the details other than what has been posted on REDD-Monitor, if the ultimate outcome of the present approach is that the settlers simply get moved elsewhere then, in terms of reducing carbon emissions or establishing a replicable model for REDD in Indonesia, the Harapan project might not take us anywhere useful – even if it may, temporarily, help to protect an important remnant of Sumatran lowland forests, FOR OTHER VALUES. I emphasise the ‘temporarily’ because it is hard to believe that KfW could persist in the long term with a project that any reasonable due diligence should have shown to carry a very high risk of failure because of major going conflict.

    If, on the other hand, in this very difficult but surely by no means unusual situation for many parts of Indonesia, new and different approaches are at least TRIED, then perhaps something good can come of it? No doubt the forces working against any resolution are strong, deeply entrenched and perhaps not really working for their ostensible aims. But that is the reality and it sounds like, apart from ‘REDD at gunpoint’, that may be the only real option.

    Perhaps indeed the international donors, the Indonesian government and the conservation agencies need to ‘bite the bullet’, but in quite a different way from that which you seem to advocate?

  10. I was responding to the general ideas expressed in your comment – “there will never be resolution of anything”, etc…. I may have read it wrong but, to me, it sounds like the same old conservation ideology that’s been practiced for decades. An ideology that sees conservation as a top-down process, where the “experts” make decisions and the participation of local communities, if there is any, is mostly illusion. There may be workshops to “sensitize” communities about the project (which usually consist of two hours of presentations that paint the project in the best possible light, followed by 15 minutes for questions), and there may be a few thousand dollars for community economic development projects (usually making trinkets for tourists). If they’re lucky, they can work as porters and guides for the NGO’s that oversee the projects or they can make a little money measuring the circumference of trees. But real participation, a seat at the table and a voice in the decision-makng process and in the conception, design, implementation and evaluation of programmes? In in most cases it doesn’t exist.

    I didn’t go in to the issue working with big corporate donors, but I think it’s fair to say that the “do-gooders” have some valid reasons for their concern.

    I don’t have any success stories for you in regards to government/local community compromise. The problem with trying to work out a compromise solution in Indonesia is that the government isn’t really interested in compromise. I work with indigenous peoples in West Papua, where the government is still using murder, torture, imprisonment and constant harassment to ensure they can continue to control and exploit the area’s natural resources. At the same time, they support the influx of huge numbers of non-indigenous settlers in to Papua. But unwillingness, on the part of a government, to sit down and work out solutions does not give other actors (NGO’s, donor governments, etc.) a green light to “bite the bullet and do what has to be done”. They should use the same influence that they use to shape conservation policies and programmes in the countries where they work to get the governments to participate in conflict resolution. Too often they are silent.

  11. Your first paragraph sounds so patronizing to me that I could hardly bother to read it. But I did. I have gone though many processes of retaining forest in Malaysia and Indonesia since 1975 and never once taken the top down approach. And I married into a former subsistence community in one of those areas.
    I can say anything to anyone and the only indication of truth that I can think of off-hand is for you to view these (Cynthia is a friend and member of the board of my present NGO, and we share the same ethos) :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e8mKjZ89js
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYrskQsXppI
    One of the few voices in support of the indigenous Bath Sembilan of the Harapan area has been the management of the Harapan programe. You say “(government) support the influx of huge numbers of non-indigenous settlers in to Papua”, which is not too different from turning a blind eye to the massive influx of immigrants into the Harapan forest. As you will know, the big impetus of immigrants into frontier rainforests is to chainsaw and burn as much down as possible, as soon as possible. It doesn’t take many years for landless immigrants to destroy 100,000 hectares, and that is what they have been doing almost uninhibited since my first visit to Harapan in 2007. I have to say again : Harapan is (now almost “was”) the LAST large (if you can call 1,000 sq km large – I don’t, but what to do?) piece of (non-swampy) lowland rainforest left on the entire island of Sumatra. Do you not think that that is worth saving? Even if you are oblivious to the argumentation to save examples of tropical rainforest for its own sake, please use your experience and passion of the West Papua case to imagine what is happening in the Harapan area.
    One might have expected that following a good process will lead to a good outcome. My experience with immigrants into tropical rainforest is that often it does not. It leads to the same number of people in similar conditions to previously, and no more forest left.
    One would hope that Indonesia will not endlessly solve its big human population problem by allowing anyone from anywhere to go and chainsaw down forest wherever they like until none is left. But this is what will happen, until no forest is left. Nothing leads me to believe otherwise. The Harapan programme was and is the very first venture to shift the burden from a dare-I-say-it dysfunctional governmental system to non-governmental agencies. I do not understand why you think the Harapan management staff (the “people on the ground” to whom I referred earlier) can be expected to be nice to every new wave of lawless immigrants and sit down nicely and ask them what they want.

  12. The writings and philosophical statements of all the above are encouraging to read because it means that the issue of natural forest protection is on the forefront of the minds of at least a few people. In reviewing the above writings I am struck by the mis-interpretation that Harapan is a conservation project. Although there are conservation groups involved as partners in the management of Harapan, legally speaking, Harapan is a “Production Forest” that is being managed to restore the ecosystem (forest) back to a productive state, after numerous years of unsustainable logging (by previous companies) and now forest encroachment have/are destroying it. Harapan Rainforest is the first Ecosystem Restoration concession in Indonesia. In the course of restoration (planting natural tree species), a good bit of research, development and conservation work can/is being achieved in relation to tropical forest habitat and wildlife management. Indonesia…Sumatra…Jambi are suffering a tropical hardwood shortage. Tropical hardwoods are more and more difficult to acquire…legally. The Harapan concession is designed to provide a source of tropical hardwoods in the future (50-100 years). In the course of this process of forest restoration, tropical forest habitat for a variety birds, mammals, amphibians, etc can be protected, studied and hopefully sustainably managed. In addition, it is one goal of PT REKI to develop Non-Timber Forest Products (honey, rattan, specialty rubber, tree saps, medicinal plants, etc) as potential long-term income sources in collaboration with the indigenous Bathin Sembilan groups and local Melayu villagers within and adjacent to the concession. NTFP’s are not well recognized for their value and are still difficult to develop and market as compared to the usual oil palm that predominates in Indonesia. Harapan does not yet have an income source, other than from international donors (KfW), research institutions, and others that “Hope” a small piece of dry, lowland, tropical rainforest can be protected and restored.

    The forest encroachment that has occurred in Harapan takes many forms, by numerous groups, each with different attitudes (Note: this same type of encroachment also occurs in oil palm and pulp plantations). The encroachment in 2004-07 during the framing of ER concept were not as intense as it has been in the past 2-3 years. The current focus of law enforcement towards the most recent encroachers (SPI), who also are the most violent, un-yielding, and internationally supported, is a focus of the National Government (Ministry of Forestry) because the local levels of government (Regency and Province) are unable and unwilling to deal with the issue effectively and because SPI will not negotiate (enter into a process of conflict resolution) with the government (at any level). Other encroaching groups in Harapan are stopping or slowing their activities and have signaled a willingness to negotiate (resolve the conflict). Many of the encroachers are migrants (from North Sumatra, Java, and other provinces) or 2nd generation trans-migrants (not indigenous Bathin Sembilan people) seeking land to earn a living from (because they do not have the education to obtain a “real job”). The majority of the encroached land is not owned by these poor people, it has been purchased by absentee-landowners from Jakarta or elsewhere, from unscrupulous speculators who then hire the poor to slash-burn and plant oil palm. Many SPI workers do not reside in Harapan Forest, they only work there (stay in temporary housing) and return to their “homes” on their “days-off” in the adjacent trans-migrant communities outside of Harapan. Certainly, all the encroachers plant some corn or rice shortly after clearing the forest, but the real goal is the conversion of natural forest to oil palm or rubber plantations for as a cash crop, not for food security as SPI and La Via Campesina advocate is their goal.

    The law enforcement action that occurred in December 2012 consisted of a consortium of government agencies that included officers from the Forestry and Conservation Departments, namely SPORC, BKSDA, POLHUT, and a small back-up force of BRIMOB via the Provincial Police to provide additional security for PT REKI during and after the Forest law enforcement authorities conducted their operations. This additional security was determined necessary because in the past year, REKI has suffered numerous violent attacks and kidnappings by armed (machete’s, home-made rifles) mobs of encroachers after REKI’s forest guards attempt to stop trespassers from entering or illegally cutting/burning the natural forest by encroachers.

  13. Dear Chris could you kindly share an update regarding the land conflict and further report/response from BMU and K&f.

  14. @Fanny Lai (#13) – There are two updates inserted into this post giving links to the response from BMU and KfW. Since December 2012, there have been several more letters and responses about Harapan. There’s a search box at the top of the REDD-Monitor website. You can find posts about Harapan here:

    http://www.redd-monitor.org/?s=Harapan

  15. @John Payne (#15) – Thanks for sharing the link. It demonstrates clearly the scale of the land conflicts surrounding Harapan. It also shows that the conflict resolution process still has a long way to go. PT Musi Mitrta Jaya’s proposed road through the forest would be a disaster.

    I can’t comment on behalf of anyone else, but obviously violent conflict is not what I want to see.

  16. As you will be aware,Harapan Rainforest was the first programme of its kind, whereby for the first time in Indonesia, a single non-governmental entity was granted sole rights to manage a specific land area for the purpose of conserving and restoring a damaged and threatened lowland forest (and the last such area in Sumatra other than Tesso Nilo, which is in even more dire straits). This was a first for Indonesia, where, as you will also know, rights over land are Kafkaesque, and the only ways to a solution for a particular area seen in the past decade has been to either allow the robber barons their way, or do nothing and let large numbers of immigrants reach a stochastic solution. Due to the large sums of money needed to try to achieve success against all the odds for the Harapan Rainforest concept, the REDD option was looked at. Harapan Rainforest is not a REDD project. It is a shame that do-gooders have aligned with the usual suspects to help undermine the viability of the Harapan Rainforest vision.

  17. @John Payne (#17) – Thanks for this. I’m aware that Harapan is not a REDD project. But the project highlights many of the difficulties facing forest conservation projects in Indonesia – the same problems that a REDD project would face.

    I’m not sure that we disagree as much as you seem to think. We both think the forest should be saved. We both agree that there are serious land conflicts (which are common throughout Indonesia). I think we agree that unless these problems are resolved, the forests will be destroyed. Perhaps you should re-read the post that you’re commenting on, in particular, these two sentences:

    The Harapan Rainforest Project is surrounded by oil palm and logging concessions. There is little doubt that without the project the forest would be destroyed.

  18. Harapan is not a REDD project, and the lesson would seem to be that no-one in their right mind would invest in a REDD project in an area experiencing the kind of circumstances evident in Harapan – even though these are probably not that untypical for genuinely threatened ‘frontier forests’ anywhere in Indonesia. REDD is only likely to be attractive for areas that are already relatively secure – though this of course means that the ‘additionality’ of such projects would have to be called into question.