What's Really Behind Ban on Foreign Researchers?


The Environment and Forestry (KLHK) Ministry has banned several foreign researchers from studying conservation areas through Letter No. S.1447/MENLHK-KSDAE/KHSS/KSA.2/9/2022, published on Sept 14. The ministry ordered all national parks/conservation areas/natural resource centers not to serve foreign researchers: Erik Meijaard, Julie Sherman, Marc Ancrenaz, Hjalmar Kuhl, and Serge Wich.

The letter suggests that their national and international publications contain "negative indications and can discredit the government and the LHK Ministry." Ministry's expert staffer for restoration and conservation partnerships Wiratno suspected that some of their research contained disinformation.

Meanwhile, Erik Meijaard revealed that he had contacted the Environment Ministry to clarify the ban. "We haven't received any reply yet. I don't know what the restrictions mean," Meijaard said Wednesday.

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