News / 8 February 2024

The litmus test for the devastating race track in Lombok

A race track for international motor bike events in Lombok continues to worry human rights experts around the world. Both ENDS and its partners are increasingly concerned about the project’s implications for ethical standards in global development financing going forward for it continues to hurt the most basic social and environmental safeguards. 

TIME magazine dives into this project and states: “The multimillion dollar tourism project in Mandalika, spearheaded by the state-owned Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), has for years been mired in land disputes, allegations of state-sanctioned violence against local communities, and compensation schemes denounced as inadequate”.

This article pays attention to the work of partners Both ENDS support in the Mandalika project, financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as an Urban Development and Tourism Project on Lombok, Indonesia. A racetrack for international motorbike events is at the center of this project for tourism development on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The project has for the last years has impoverished communities, who had been forced to resettle far from their coastal homes without being properly consulted from the beginning. Both ENDS works closely together with Just Finance International and a coalition of local Indonesian lawyer groups and community based organizations to address the issues for the affected people  at stake.

 Litmus test

The Dutch government participates in the AIIB. Dutch membership of the AIIB in 2015, came with a commitment made to Dutch parliament, that the bank would work with safeguards equal to those of other international financial institutions. Mandalika, as one of the earliest stand-alone finances by the bank, is a litmus test for the strength of this commitment .

We ask the Dutch government, to use its board position in the bank, to further urge the bank to meet its safeguards obligations and to ensure that project affected people do not become impoverished due to resettlement.

Together with Wawa of Just Finance International (JFI) Both ENDS updates the Dutch Ministery regularly about the situation in Mandalika.

For further background:

  • Full read TIME
  • In September 2023 an analysis by  Just Finance International, Institute for Legal Studies and Aid in NTB (LSBH), Legal Aid Institute in Mataram (LBH-Mataram), National Alliance for the Agrarian Reform Movement (AGRA), BothENDS and Satya Bumi showed that in the Mandalika project the  bank has repeatedly failed to meet its own and the most basic social environmental standards.
  • UN rights experts several times raised alarm over forced evictions of locals and indigenous peoples, and threats against human rights defenders
  • Since its early years, Both ENDS has had significant interest in developments related to the World Bank and other international financing institutions.

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