Mongabay (2023)

Mongabay, Hans Nicholas Jong, 14 June 2023

  • U.N. human rights experts have raised concerns about the Mandalika tourism development megaproject in Indonesia for a third year running, a record number for a project of this scale funded by a multilateral development bank.
  • The concerns revolve around alleged violations by the security forces against local and Indigenous communities in the Mandalika region of the island of Lombok, which the government plans to turn into a “New Bali” with resorts, hotels and a racetrack.
  • The U.N. experts say reports of intimidation, impoverishment and disenfranchisement of the Indigenous communities in Mandalika continue to flood in, despite the U.N. having flagged the project since 2021.
  • NGOs have called on the $3 billion Mandalika project’s main funder, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to suspend its financing and launch an independent investigation into the alleged human rights violations.

This level of U.N. engagement is “unprecedented,” said Wawa Wang, director of the NGO Just Finance International. Yet despite this, she said, “the AIIB and ITDC have yet to take decisive action to release key project documentation, address the root causes of human rights violations, and provide remedy and redress to affected Indigenous communities.”

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