Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Letters: Who cares anymore?

Tue, 11/10/2009 12:25 PM | Reader's Forum The Jakarta Post

The reluctance of so-called rich nations to send their citizens' hard-earned money to Indonesia ("Rich nations still reluctant on financial commitment", The Jakarta Post, Nov. 6), surely has more to do with their distrust of Indonesia's ability to administer such monies honestly and appropriately, than any lack of concern for the deforestation. After all, tens of millions of pounds have already been filtered through Indonesian government channels.

If, 20 years from now, there is little or no forest cover left in Indonesia, no orangutans, no tigers, no elephants, no birds singing in trees, no insects to pollinate fruit and vegetable plants, no indigenous tribes left to pass on their culture and knowledge, increasing frequency of landslides, massive changes in climate, more tropical storms, rising sea levels swallowing islands and coastal communities, why should any foreigner care? Why?

Don't you think we have enough to worry about in our own countries? Admittedly, we will also suffer the effects of climate change, but it will be long after Indonesia. By which time it will be too late, but at least our money will have been better spent of giving our citizens a better quality of life rather than squandering it on Indonesia, a country, which rarely, if ever, shows any appreciation of foreign aid unless it reaches the pockets of corrupt politicians and business people.

I am hard pressed to think of one good reason why Indonesia should get its hands on any more foreign aid, particularly towards saving forests the government has so far shown an insatiable appetite for cutting down. Besides, there are millions of people in Indonesia with good jobs, nice homes and expensive cars. Why don't they donate towards saving their forests? I suggest it's because they would no more trust their government to keep their word on saving forests, than a known thief to look after the keys of their homes.

It is time for Indonesia to accept responsibility for its own self-destruction and stop begging for money from other nations.

Sean Whyte


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