Indonesia - rapid population growth

Indonesia case study

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  • Created by: Kelleigh
  • Created on: 05-06-12 14:56

Indonesia - rapid population growth - background

Indonesia (an archipelago of 17,000 islands) can be divided into a densely populated core area (this includes the large cities and the islands of Java) and a sparsely populated periphery (outer islands).

Out of a population of over 240 million, around 130 million live on Java.

Java has good soils but only 7% of the nation's land

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - why was the

60% of Indonesia's population lives on Java itself - making the population density very high - especially in Jakarta

The government needed to stop Jakarta's urban growth

People migrate to Jakarta in large numbers to find work

  • Indonesia is one of many countries feeling the burden of a large population crowded in a relatively small area
  • This aims to move people from the core area (Java/Jakarta) to the periphery - (Sumatra, Kalimantan) to new farming areas set up by the government
  • The migrants are given free transport, free land and housing and other assistance such as food and fertiliser for the first 12 months
  • Even though many have migrated the scheme has not been entirely successful
  • The idea is to use the migrants to develop infrastructure, school, and hospitals to put these otherwise "useless" lands to use
  • Mega rice project - migrants move from Java to Kalimantan. Movement is voluntary. The aim was that they would grow enough food for themselves and the rest of Indonesia
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Indonesia - rapid population growth - why was the

Widespread deforestation as land was cleared in the periphery islands for the migrants

Indigenous populations were displaced, this led to conflict

The population structure was changed as the ethnicity of the periphery changed

Not all the people who moved escaped poverty as they didn't have the skils to farm the land

Transmigration has also been blamed for accelerating the deforestation of sensitive rainforest areas, as formerly sparsely-populated areas experienced great increases in population. Migrants were often moved to entirely new "transmigration villages," constructed in regions that had been relatively un-impacted by human activity. By settling on this land, natural resources were used up and the lands became overgrazed, resulting in deforestation.  Over 120 million hectares of Tropical Rainforest have been felled to create land for the new settlers. Soil erosion and soil exhaustion also occurred once the delicate balance of the Tropical Rainforest ecosystem has been disturbed

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - why was the

In many examples, the program also failed in its objective to improve the situation of the migrants. The soil and climate of their new locations were generally not nearly as productive as the volcanic soil of Java and Bali. The settlers were often landless people lacking in farming skills, let alone skills appropriate to the new land, thus compromising their own chances of success.

Despite major government spending, which in some years was equivalent to thirty or forty percent of the entire government budget for some outer islands, necessary investments in transportation, water, and education were lacking

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - scheme offer

Free transport to Kalimantan

Free housing

2 hectares of land

Free equipment, fertiliser's etc. enough food to keep the family going until the first harvest

  • In the past two decades the government has moved more then six million
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Indonesia - rapid population growth - has it worke

The programme has been controversial

- Critics accuse the Indonesian government of trying to use these migrants to reduce the proportion of native populations in receiving areas, thus weakening separatist movements. Many indigenous people saw the program as a part of an effort by the Java-based Indonesian Government to extend greater economic and political control over other regions, by moving in people with closer ties to Java and loyalty to the Indonesian state.

 - Thousands of young families left Java, but the population is still not evenly distributed

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - has it worke

However, the rate of rural-urban migration in Java (as people searched for work) meant Jakarta (the capital) continued to grow

Population growth was not reversed in the 1980s, Java’s population increased by 18% in spite of out-movements. In 1995 the country’s population was growing by 3.2 million per year! This is more than the entire number of people who had moved out from the core in the whole of the transmigration movement.

It is very costly and over £200 million has been loaned by the World Bank. Many people feel that its limited success does not justify this spending.

Up to 20% of the migrants have since returned home because of problems in the new areas.

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - conflicts

There have been conflicts between the immigrants and the local residents because:

1. Traditional farmers are worried that the incomers will take over their area and destroy their way of life. They also complain that the new settlers are given more financial help than they recieve

2. Local shifting cultivators have had to move as their land is being used by the newcomers

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - advantages

However, transmigration has brought some advantages:

Improved infrastructure on teh peripheral islands, e.g. better roads, more school and health facilities, although in many areas they are still not adequate for the numbers of people who actually live there

People from the core who had no land or jobs now have a future in their new homes

Some spontaneous migration to the outer islands has been stimulated

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Indonesia - rapid population growth - conclusion

In the future, the transmigration policy will probably focus on providing rural infrastructure to attract people and encourage migration and less on large scale organised schemes.

It may be better for the country to try to solve the problems linked with its rapid population growth by more family planning programmes, intensifying agricultural production, developing the country's plentiful oil and gas reserves and industries, rather than by organised transmigration.

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