Transmigration in Indonesia

A look at transmigration in Indonesia.

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1. What is transmigration?
A Transmigration scheme (as set up by the Indonesian government) provides
transportation for people to move to and stay in a new village/town, in a less populated
part of the country.
2. What is provided for the migrant?
A House
Farming plot
A basic infrastructure
A living support allowance (for the first 18 months).
3. What were the 3 main goals of transmigration?
To move many Indonesians from the densely populated inner islands (Java, Bali,
Madura), to the less densely populated outer islands, to achieve more balanced
demographic development.
To remove poverty, by providing land and new opportunities for poor landless
settlers to generate income.
To give new opportunities to the outer islands.
4. Where did financial support come from to support the programme?
Large levels of financial support from the World Bank and other countries helped to boost
the programme.
5. Summarise the criticisms of the transmigration policies?
Transmigration causes deforestation; but Indonesia's outer islands contain 10% of
the world's remaining rainforests.
Some say that resettlement is political.
Transmigration violates land rights and is aimed at the forced removal of the
indigenous people.
In the 1980's resettlement cost the government $7000 per family ­ boosting
Indonesia's national debt.
Some people are actually worse off than before, because of inadequate planning and
site preparation and poor access to markets.
6. What positive changes appear to have happened in Indonesia?
The official transmigration programme appears to have been quietly dropped by the
current government. Forced-migration is no longer possible, because it was so
damaging to the indigenous people.

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7. Why are there concerns that new migration and transmigration may commence
The central government and the new local governments are relying on the exploitation of
natural resources (e.g. logging, mining, industrial timber and pulpwood plantations, oil palm and
industrial shrimp farming), to generate revenue. Large-scale commercial exploitation of these
resources, aimed at export markets, is being actively encouraged by the IMF and the World
Bank.…read more

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