In DepthSCIENCE AND POLITICS

Scientists in Indonesia fear political interference

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Science  14 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 722-723
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6479.722

Summary

French landscape ecologist David Gaveau, a research associate with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), was recently deported from Indonesia because of a visa violation. Some colleagues suspect it's no coincidence that Gaveau, who directed a small consultancy company on Bali, was expelled the month after CIFOR published an estimate of the damage from Indonesia's 2019 wildfires that far exceeded the government's own numbers. Some see his deportation as another sign of the growing tension between the Indonesian government and the scientific community. In recent years, several researchers studying environmental damage from development and fires have faced pressure from the Indonesian government, and some have lost their jobs and their right to stay in the country. Indonesian scientists studying these topics have come under pressure as well.

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