Foreign and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their affiliates operating in Indonesia have become a concern in the past period because their activities tend to disrupt the investment climate.

The economist from the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), Bhima Yudistira, stated that foreign NGOs networks were free to enter Indonesia without reporting or registering with the government. In fact, Government Regulation Number 59 of 2016 concerning Community Organizations Established by Foreign Citizens has stated that foreign NGOs must be registered and have an obligation to report the source of their funding.

So far, there are still many foreign NGOs that are trying to intervene in development programs in Indonesia, especially infrastructure. They use environmental issues to be prone to disasters to thwart infrastructure development in the country. In some cases, foreign NGOs use misleading issues and research that tends to be subjective. They campaigned for the negative impact of a number of development projects and the oil industry by using invalid data, even leading to black campaigns.

In North Sumatra, several NGOs rejected the construction of the Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant (PLTA) in South Tapanuli District, arguing that its existence was not needed. In fact, based on forestry observers who are also professors of the Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), Professor Yanto Santosa, electricity that currently meets to supply needs in North Sumatra comes from fossil fuel plants rented from abroad. Thus, the existence of the PLTA Batang Toru is expected to meet the needs of the community.

He added, another misinformation that is often used as a reference is the construction of a daily water reservoir to drive the hydroelectric power plant turbine. Often campaigned there will be a large dam built and will soak up land up to thousands of hectares. In fact, there is no large dam, but only a reservoir with an area of around 90 hectares. Professor Yanto called on foreign NGOs to stop black campaigns about forest management and biodiversity in the country. The campaigns voiced by foreign NGOs often hamper development.

Meanwhile, in Bali, Greenpeace Indonesia, which sued the Bali Provincial Government regarding the PLTU Celukan Bawang II construction permit, said that it would appeal after the Denpasar High Court of Justice (PTUN) panel rejected their claim. The interesting thing to look at again is the statement from the attorney of the defendant, famous lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, that the PLTU Celukan Bawang I has been operating for five years, but there are no claims and no environmental pollution.

Activities carried out by foreign NGOs in Indonesia without regard to Government Regulation No.59/2016 can hamper national economic growth. It’s legitimate if NGOs want to be an external element that guards and maintains nature and government policies, as long as it complies with existing regulations and regulations.

In addition, if conducting studies and research, it must be comprehensive and involve all stakeholders so as not to see it from one side only. Do not used invalid research as a reference which is then disseminated to the community, even though the government as the authorized authority has data. Campaigns carried out by foreign NGOs and their affiliates must not hinder or disrupt the investment climate in Indonesia. Because if it has disrupted the investment climate, the most affected is economics and people of Indonesia.