Agriculture, resources and the environment

The Indonesian economy remains dependent on agriculture, resources and the environment, which provide a livelihood for many Indonesians. Appropriate policies in these areas could effectively benefit millions of Indonesians, lift the poor out of poverty and generate overall economic growth. On the other hand, bad policy decisions in these areas could trap millions of Indonesians in poverty, diminish the opportunity for growth, and cause lasting damage to natural systems. Developing appropriate policies is not always straightforward. Complex issues often arise, such as the conflicting interests of agricultural (including estate crop) expansion and resource extraction, local communities, and environmental objectives; the illegal extraction of resources and the use of toxic chemicals in agricultural cultivation and mining; productivity and technological change, and the valuation and taxation of resources; and issues regarding trade and protectionism, foreign investment, and financing for action on climate change

Research at the Indonesia Project on this theme looks at economic, political and social dimensions of Indonesia’s agricultural expansion, resource extraction, and environmental impacts and policies.

Current research projects

  • Development and the Environment
    This project aims to identify resource management policies that could foster sustainable development in developing countries.  It includes research to understand the impact of illegal activities and natural disaster events on natural resource endowment and development.
  • Energy, Air Pollution and Climate Change
    The main goal of this project’s research activities is to determine the impact of energy, air, pollution and climate change policies on the economy, poverty and the environment.
  • Technological Progress and Agricultural Development
    This project aims to understand how new technologies are disseminated among farmers and what their impact is on yields, farmer incomes and the environment.

Selected publications

  • Barichello, R. and A.A. Patunru. 2009. “Agriculture in Indonesia: Lagging Performance and Difficult Choices”, Choices 24(2): 37-41.
  • Jotzo, F. 2008. “Climate Change Economics and Policy in the Asia-Pacific”, Asian-Pacific Economic Literature 22: 377-40.
  • Jotzo, F. 2012. “Can Indonesia Lead on Climate Change?”, in Reid (ed.) Indonesia Rising: The Repositioning of Asia’s Third Giant. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
  • McCarthy, J. and Z. Zen. 2010. “Regulating the Oil Palm Boom: Assessing the Effectiveness of Environmental Governance Approaches to Agro-Industrial Pollution in Indonesia”, Law and Policy 32(1): 153-179.
  • McCarthy, J., P. Gillespie and Z. Zen. 2012 “Swimming Upstream: Local Indonesian Production Networks in "Globalized" Palm Oil Production”, World Development 40(3): 555-569.
  • Patunru, A.A. and M. Chatib Basri. 2011. “The Political Economy of Rice and Fuel Pricing in Indonesia”, in Ananta and Barichello (eds) Poverty, Food, and Global Recession in Southeast Asia: Is the Crisis Over for the Poor? Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.
  • Resosudarmo, B.P. (ed.). 2005. The Politics and Economics of Indonesia Natural Resources. Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.
  • Resosudarmo, B.P. and F. Jotzo (eds). 2009. Working with Nature against Poverty: Development, Resources and the Environment in Eastern Indonesia. Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.
  • Yusuf, A.A. and B.P. Resosudarmo. 2008. “Mitigating Distributional Impact of Fuel Pricing Reform: Indonesian Experience”, ASEAN Economic Bulletin 25(1): 32-47.

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