A Wake-up Call to Save the Earth from the Shadow of Investment Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

#EarthDay Press Release
Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)

Jakarta, 22 April 2020— Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic has made the commemoration of Earth Day this year is different from previous years. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused rest of the world to be in state of anxiety and consciously living in a crisis phase. This crisis is even greater than the multidimensional crisis published by WALHI in January 2020. It is broader, not only in the context of a nation and state, it affects the lives of people throughout the earth. The mismanagement of the state and planet earth has made us aware that the earth we inhabit is no longer safe. Our earth could no longer withstand the burden of environmental damages due to greedy investment practices.

Unfair treatment of a group of people to the others, flora and fauna has caused the earth haunted by Covid-19. The virus and other 60% of contagious diseases are zoonotic diseases which originating from animal transmission, where more than two-thirds of them come from wild animals. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report in 2016 mention that  intensification of agricultural, industrialization, and encroachment activities that caused environmental changes are the main cause of zoonotic diseases emergence.

The power of the capitalist economy is undeniably the main cause of the destruction of earth. Not only contributing to the birth and spread of various diseases, the economic model that only benefits a handful of people also leads the majority of the earth population facing threats of another crisis. The World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that in May 2020 the world will be facing food crisis  threats (FAO, April 2020). Indonesia will certainly face the same thing. The Indonesian Statistics Agency (BPS) data shows that our high dependence on imports of food needs will potentially lead Indonesia to food crisis. The pride as one of the countries producing pulp and paper, palm oil and mining has no cohesion to save Indonesia from the threat of food crisis.

Submission of prices to the market also twist the logic of humanity. Scarcity and high prices of medical tools benefit a handful of people. Who helps the people? It is a sense of solidarity among people that saves the logic of humanity. Where is the state? Is busy preparing a legal product of Job Creation Bill known as Omnibus Law. A legal product that does not in favor of people, for humanity and environment. The bill that will affect to widen inequality and accelerate the destruction of the earth in Indonesia's administrative regions.

More than 60% of the lands are occupied by investment, 75% of the rivers are heavily polluted, the rate of deforestation that goes hand in hand with the increasing hydrometeorological disasters and various environmental damages is proof that government is not concerned at all concerned with earth condition and its humanity. In the long run, climate crisis will certainly be a bad gift for the earth and its inhabitants. Not only humans, biodiversity is also threatened by the rate of climate changes. The Paris Agreement which was ratified through Law Number 16 of 2016 is just a norm that does not change the way the state legalizes extractive economic practices that are indifferent to social and environmental aspects.

Nur Hidayati, Director of WALHI National Executive stated, "the ongoing crisis has not changed the state at all. Our earth, our Indonesia, is constantly left destroyed by investment. The state and corporations are the main actors.”

“The current situation is actually being capitalized by corporations that destroy environment to displace, grab and even kill agrarian and environmental defenders who are struggling to deliver a more just face of the earth. Worse, the government and house of representatives are also busy trying to pass a bill that has a very obvious agenda, not in favor of humanity and the environment,” added Yaya, as she usually called.

Based on the description above, WALHI calls on every one of use take a role in protecting the earth and call on the state to take the following policies and actions:

  1. Stop discussion of Omnibuslaw Bill;
  2. Pass laws and regulations that in favor of the people based on humanitarian and environmental values. Legal products that will create distribution of the usage of the environment and natural resources more equitable and sustainable;
  3. Evaluate permits of extractive industries that have damaged and threatened the people and the environment;
  4. Shift the economic model of capitalist economy to archipelago economy, economic practices based on fair and sustainable local knowledges;

A better and friendlier earth must be passed on to our future generations.

#WALHI #SaveEarth #SaveHumanity #RestoreIndonesia #IndonesiaAdildanLestari #SelamatkanBumi #SelamatkanKemanusiaan #PulihkanIndonesia

Contact person:

Ode Rakhman/ Campaign Coordinator of WALHI National Executive (081356208763)