Mongabay: U.N., rights groups flag potential violations in $3b Indonesian tourism project

Mongabay, Hans Nicholas Jong, 25 May 2022

  • The U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has again raised concerns about alleged violations against local and Indigenous communities who are being moved for a tourism development project in Indonesia.
  • The Indonesian government envisions building a “New Bali” in the Mandalika region of the island of Lombok, including resorts, hotels and a racetrack, for which it is relocating 121 households.
  • Special rapporteur Olivier De Schutter says there are concerns around four issues: the conditions under which the community members are being moved; whether they’ve even consented to doing so; the amount of compensation the government is offering; and the conditions of their resettlement.
  • NGOs have called for the $3 billion Mandalika project’s main funder, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to stop financing the project in light of these allegations of rights violations.

Wawa Wang of Just Finance International, a member of the coalition, said the AIIB must also commit to an independent evaluation by human rights experts chosen in consultation with and agreed by NGOs and people affected by the Mandalika project.

“By providing core finance for the project, AIIB must take responsibility for its complicity in bankrolling the Mandalika project, where its client and project proponents have been implicated in inflicting human rights violations and fueling land conflicts,” she said.

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