Indonesia: The World Bank's Failed East Asian Miracle

Palm oil concession. Credit: H Dragon, CC BY 2.0
Palm oil concession. Credit: H Dragon, CC BY 2.0

Indonesia, host of the 2018 annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), for years has been heralded as a major economic success by the Bank and rewarded for its pro-business policy changes through the World Bank’s Doing Business reports. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, Indonesia climbed an astounding 34 positions in the ranks. These reforms, however, have come at a massive cost for both people and the planet.

Indonesia: The World Bank’s Failed East Asian Miracle details how Bank-backed policy reforms have led to the displacement, criminalization, and even murder of smallholder farmers and indigenous defenders to make way for mega-agricultural projects. While Indonesia’s rapidly expanding palm oil sector has been heralded as a boon for the economy, its price tag includes massive deforestation, widespread loss of indigenous land, rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

Report cover: Rainforest Action Network, CC BY-NC 2.0