Figure 1: Clearing on the margins of an unregistered plantation in the Siak Kecil area of Riau Province
When I first saw this image it saddened me. I had already travelled through the region, not precisely this spot at 0° 59′ 54.9996′ N, 101° 53′ 3.0012′ E, but further to the north and west. Travelling by helicopter afforded an excellent view of the numerous forms of natural habitat destruction that is such a feature of Riau Province.
Years earlier, Indonesian friends had insisted that Riau Province was the most corrupt province in the country. Now, this was a big claim and I took it on board as somewhat of an exaggeration but after visiting the place, I’m not so sure. Now back to the main point of this post.
Locating the image on Google Maps.
As a first step in delving deeper into this image I decided to locate it on Google Maps which meant converting the coordinates to the decimal scale 0.998611 N, 101.884167 E. This allowed me to plot the image’s location. There were several images taken from a location further south.
I’ve shaded the camera icons red so that they stand out on the map.
While attempting to locate the site on a map of Riau landholdings, I was fortunate to come across this map.
Figure 2: Land holdings and land use in Riau
I’ve loaded it as full size so readers can examine this map in detail. It has latitude and longitude clearly marked. The area in question is a little hard to discern so I’ve also clipped the relevant section of the map.
Figure 3: Segment of Land holdings and land use map
The cleared area, pictured in Figure 1, is on the border of the Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve, which is also the customary land of the Indigenous Sakai people. It appears to extend into the reserve. Such clearing opens up opportunities for illegal logging inside the reserve and leaves it prone to the danger of wildfire, particularly given the extent of forest debris visible in the image.
Also, note that the cleared area in Figure 1 is on the border of an Unregistered Plantation. Research conducted in 2014, found that occurrences of fire by land cover type, land management systems, landholders, and proximity to roads and canals showed that:
The panel was tasked with considering the proposition that:
From busloads of tourists and bustling beaches, to Balinese Hinduism and a global voice, Bali is a place that knows how to adapt.
This is a summary of my introductory comments and a little more that there was insufficient time to express.
As the only foreigner on this panel I’d like to say a little about misunderstandings.
Recently Melbourne Barrister Jim Mellas posted this anecdote on. His Twitter stream.Uber driver: what sort of work do you do?
Jim: I’m a barrister
Uber Driver: I like coffee! Where you work? I come for coffee.
When I first came to Bali such misunderstandings were common enough for me.
One day I was asked
Ke mana, Russell
Saya ke pasar, mau mendapat penjahat
Oh, maaf Penjait
My friends were very forgiving.
Misunderstandings arising from language were common in those days and continue but I was determined to learn as much as I could about Bali.
So when I’m confronted with a statement as blunt as Bali is a place that knows how to adapt, in the interests of clarity and efficient communication many questions arise. First, what is adaptation.
In biology – the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment. In evolutionary terms this is predicated on the existence of natural selection.
In a social sense: the process of changing to better suit a situation.
Now that makes sense Desa, Pala, Patra – adapting to time – place and context is a commonly understood principle in Bali and therefor a potential strength.
There its no doubt that the connectivity and creativity of Balinese society affords a degree of resilience in the fast of major changes offering many opportunities for social adaptation, many creative solutions.
Indeed the early emergence of cultural tourism in the Gianyar Regency, Ubud in particular, is one such positive adaptation, so too is the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival now in its 13th year. Events such as this add value to tourism, strengthen local capacities to respond and adapt to a changing world, to make a creative response to the the globalised industrial and post industrial economic system now so predominant.
Where I must question Bali’s adaptability is in the domain of the biophysical environment, it’s management and the associated environmental mangement economics or the green economy where the answer to the question is problematic.
At this stage I contend that Bali isn’t successfully adapting in this domain, but retain a significant degree of optimism, given the creativity of the human resources on this small island.
I shape my answer to this question with spiritual, scientific and economic perspectives.
Spiritually my position accords with that of Patriarch Bartholomew when he writes:
“. . . to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin.
For human beings to cause species to become extinct and to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests, or by destroying its wetlands; for human beings to injure other human beings with disease; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life, with poisonous substances – all of these are sins.”
As a corollary he adds:
The way “. . . we treat the earth and all of creation defines the relationship that each of us has with God. It is also a barometer of how we view one another.”
When I first came to Bali, I hadn’t developed such insights, I brought my background in Geography and Economics but it wasn’t long before I came up against a Balinese spiritual tool Tri Hita Karana.
In simple terms it asserts that there are three causes of prosperity and happiness and that these states proceed from harmonious relationship between:
(1) Humans and God – Parhyangan;
(2) Humans and their neighbours – Pawongan,
(3) Humans and the natural world – Palemahan.
Its roots are far more ancient, although this doctrine only came into wide use as recently as the 1966. My sense was that Tri Hita Karana could be applied in a material as well as a spiritual sense yet I saw many examples of lack of material harmony or equilibrium, particularly in the relationship between humans and nature.
What I wasn’t understanding was the application of another set of understandings Sekala and Nislala. In the simplest sense this means that reality, is an interaction of the Seen and the Unseen. In time I came to accept this idea and have now completed my first book of short stories with this as the part of its title.
Yet in accepting this idea it gradually became plain that harmonious relations between humans and nature were often mediated through ceremonies, through the Unseen realm and that for many this represented sufficient regard for the environment.
This worked well enough in the pre-industrial world even though Bali was by no means sealed and impervious to outside influences. Fortunately, such external influences were for the most part environmentally non-disruptive, by comparison with the present.
Things changed in the 1970s with the growth is wide bodied jet travel and the dawn of the era of mass tourism.
In Bali before this era forces like Bhoma played their part within the unseen realm. As the child of Vishnu and Ibu Pertiwi, Bhoma is an entity whose place is intrinsically connected with the conjunction of earth and water. In terrestrial environments, earth, water, atmosphere and biosphere all meet. All four domains are present in a space where energy is exchanged and fundamental transformations in states of matter occur.
In pre-industrial Bali it was easy for humans, much of what they did was in harmony with nature, so natural processes remained intact and unimpeded. All remained in equilibrium and Bhoma was free to carry out his work skimming across the earth and transforming rubbish into the food of life.
So where are we now? Well Bhoma has indigestion, the heartburn of Tri Hita.
The Bali I encountered, when I first came here has gone. My greatest fear is that given the high demand elasticity of budget tourism in South East Asia, and the mounting numbers of tourists escaping the polluted cities of eastern China and headed for Bali, that they will settle for tarmac, concrete and plastic, a Bali of Benoa Bay canal estates, an artificial and unsustainable paradise.
The solution is in valued added tourism. I’ve always believed that cultural, environmental and educational tourism is something Balinese society can do well. Perhaps there is hope in the Bali Clean and Green Program. What it must deal with and how effective it can be, I hope we will confront, in discussion. If it isn’t effective the answer to the question is an absolute no.
I still want Bali to be the morning of the world, even if it’s moving into the siang, towards midday.
Read more of my work by either picking up a copy of Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific from me at UWRF16 or from Toko Buku Ganesha in Ubud. It’s also available through Amazon and as an audio book through CD Baby. Visit my website for full details.
Seen and Unseen a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific is reviewed by Bill Dalton in Toko Buku on page 17 of the Bali Advertiser for October 26, 2016.
Travelling through East Kalimantan in 1987 the extent of forest clearance was immediately apparent. On the road from Balikpapan to Tenggarong most of the clear-felled areas I passed were tantamount to a tinderbox waiting for a firestorm.
Fire in logged areas was a regular occurrence in East Kalimantan and ten years after this visit, the inevitable happened. The El Nino of 1997-98 exacerbated yet another outbreak that went on to burn 25% of the province.
The El Nino of 2015-16
In June the Straits Times reported that peatland fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra that blanketed South-east Asia in thick haze last year released the greatest amount of climate-changing carbon since record blazes in 1997, producing emissions higher than in the whole of the European Union.
The Nature Climate Change 4 notes that El Niño events are a prominent feature of climate variability with global climatic impacts. The 1997/98 episode, often referred to as ‘the climate event of the twentieth century’1, 2, and the 1982/83 extreme El Niño3, featured a pronounced eastward extension of the west Pacific warm pool and development of atmospheric convection, and hence a huge rainfall increase, in the usually cold and dry equatorial eastern Pacific. Such a massive reorganization of atmospheric convection, which we define as an extreme El Niño, severely disrupted global weather patterns, affecting ecosystems4, 5, agriculture6, tropical cyclones, drought, bushfires, floods and other extreme weather events worldwide3, 7, 8, 9
Recent research on the 2015 fires reported in the Straits Times concluded that 884 million tonnes of carbon dioxide was emitted in the region last year, with 97 per cent originating from forest fires in Indonesia.
The results showed that regional carbon dioxide emissions from the fires were 11.3 million tonnes per day in September and October 2015, more than the 28-nation EU’s daily emissions of 8.9 million tonnes during the same period.
The researchers also said the emissions were worse than during the 1997 fires, considered the worst on record.
At that time, there was an even longer drought and widespread burning due to a stronger El Nino.
Research suggests 100,000 premature deaths
Harvard and Columbia University researchers have used air pollution readings to calculate exposure to the toxic smoke haze that drifted across Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, last year. Their research suggests 100,000 premature deaths in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, arising from this event.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Indonesia correspondent Jewel Topsfield quotes the report from the Environmental Research Letters journal on September 19 as estimating “. . . that haze in 2015 resulted in 100,300 excess deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore,” says the report, which was published in. This was largely the result of exposure the dangerous particulate matter of 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5). The report states:
A combination of El Niño and pIOD conditions in July–October 2015 led to dry conditions that exacerbated agricultural and land clearing fires in southern Sumatra and Kalimantan. The resulting dense haze persisted across much of Equatorial Asia for weeks, imposing adverse public health impacts on populations in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Using the adjoint of the GEOS-Chem global chemistry model together with health response functions, we estimate ~60 μg m−3 of population-weighted smoke PM2.5 exposure and 100 300 premature deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore due to extreme haze in 2015. These values are more than double the 25 μg m−3 of smoke PM2.5 and 37 600 premature deaths that we estimate for a similar haze event in the region in 2006. The approximate doubling of regional smoke exposure in 2015 compared to 2006 is consistent with observations of haze from both OMI AI and MODIS AOD during the two events.
Conditions are becoming worse with the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) potentiating factors.
The report notes that, “Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of death from a number of ailments including stroke and respiratory illnesses,” one of the researchers from Harvard University, Dr Shannon Koplitz, told Fairfax Media.
Indonesians were the worst affected with an estimated 91,600 excess deaths.
Last year Indonesia’s National Disaster management Agency (BNPB) acknowledged the severity of the situation reporting that hat 43 million Indonesians were affected by the smog in Sumatra and Kalimantan alone with 503,874 reported Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI).
Topsfield reports Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from BNPB as claiming “There is nothing like that (91,000 premature deaths),” and going on to say, “It is not true. The data is not valid. If there were high numbers of people dead we would have stated it in our almost daily forest fire press releases last year.”
It seems Sutopo Purwo Nugroho has misunderstood the data which pointed to premature deaths, rather than deaths in the present period.
Greenhouse gas emissions from peat fires in Borneo and Sumatra are currently exceeding emissions from the entire U.S. economy, putting Indonesia on track to be one of the world’s largest carbon polluters this year.
According to the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) carbon emissions from Indonesia’s fires have just topped the CO2 equivalent of a billion tons.
The findings bring into sharp focus the importance of ending business-as-usual approaches to land management in Indonesia if the world hopes to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
While the health impacts are an obvious and continuing legacy of the rapacious forest burning there are other grave consequences.
Non-health consequence of forest clearing and burning
The impacts on endangered ecosystems and endangered animals, in particular, are well documented. Tragic as this is, particularly for animals such as the Sumatran Tiger and the Orang Utan, I’ve concentrated on less well known impacts. The WWF covers the issue of Palm Oil and Biodiversity Loss most thoroughly.
Subsidence of peatlands and their increasing vulnerability to sea level rise and flooding
Flooding in deltas and riparian lowlands is accelerated by the subsidence of peatlands. Subsidence commonly occurs when channels are cut through peat lands as part of the clearing process. Peat dries out begins to release sequestered CO2 and shrinks. This is well documented in the Straits Times article which reminds us that unrestrained forest clearance to develop oil palm and pulpwood plantations leads to land subsidence.
The article observes that:
Millions of hectares of Indonesia’s former forest lands are slowly subsiding and could become flooded wastelands unable to grow food or timber-based products in one of the world’s most populous nations. Combined with rising sea levels, the scale of the problem becomes even more stark because much of the east coast of Sumatra is just a few metres above sea level.
It quotes Wetlands International which claims that between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of Sumatra’s peatlands have been drained, largely for agriculture.
Vast stretches of peatlands along Sumatra’s east coast that is mere metres about sea level. Mr Marcel Silvius of Wetlands International tells us:
These peatlands will become unproductive so that, over time, almost the entire east coast of Sumatra will consist of unproductive land that will become frequently flooded, adding that this means the livelihoods of the local communities will be jeopardised, and industrial plantations will not be possible any more.
Remediation is unlikely to be an option so the costs associated with this aspect of the palm oil industry are huge and inter-generational.
Siltation of drainage basins, mangroves and coastal waters
Clearing any land in humid environments increases run off and reduces the percolation of water into soils. Run-off velocity in such situations also increases and without the protective forest layer erosion increases, top soil is lost and carried into water courses, streams and rivers. This in turn reduces the efficiency of channel flow, increasing flooding and also leading to increased siltation of estuaries and coastal waters. Such siltation can disturb coastal mangroves and associated fish breeding areas. River transport, coastal fishing and coastal navigation all suffer.
Muhammad Lukman, in research towards his PhD, has identified elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in riparian and coastal sediments. He suggests that his findings could be evidence of the effects of widespread, long-term and intense agricultural burnings along with the many forest/peat swamp fires that have frequently occurred in the past 20 years or so.
Some estimates of cost can be made in terms of the costs of flood mitigation and control measures, losses arising from flooding of agricultural land and settled areas, and the immediate impacts on navigation and fishing
Forced closure of schools and educational institutions;
Such a cyclical problem will cause significant disruption to educational services and the development of human resources, particularly in Indonesia.
Closure of airports and disruption of airline schedules.
During the burning season 2015 flights were frequently cancelled at Sultan Syarif Kasim II (SSK II) airport Pekanbaru, in Riau province with visibility down to between 300 to 600 metres in the area. Elsewhere Kuching International Airport (KIA) in Sarawak, Malaysia was closed on September 10 with visibility down to some 400 metres. In Indonesia, poor visibility due to smoke disrupted flight schedules at Pinang Kampai Airport, Riau. All of these events have direct measurable impacts.
Losses sustained by the tourism industry and other business sectors
Last year Reuters quoted Irvin Seah, DBS economist in Singapore, who said, In 1997, the level of pollution was not this severe, and noting that the tourism industry’s contribution to the economy was relatively smaller back then.
The Reuters report observes that Tourism makes up 6.4 percent of Malaysia’s economy and about 5 to 6 percent of Singapore’s and quotesan ANZ research report that says, in Singapore, Shopping, restaurants, bars and outdoor entertainment will all suffer during this hazy period.
While losses in tourism and ancillary sectors can be calculated there are increased costs to businesses across the board. Developing and implementing disaster relief plans for employees is one area that is immediately obvious, then there are the issues of work days lost owing to respiratory or cardio pulmonary illnesses, disruptions to supply chains and various other schedules of usual business activity. Finally there is the matter of impacts on ventilation and air conditioning filtration systems particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Impact on global warming
This was also broached in the previous post Forest Burning and haze in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The precise impact of any one burning event is difficult to judge, but the immense quantities of carbon stored in the peatlands of Indonesia is cause for concern. One estimate suggests that Indonesia’s 1997 fires released 810 to 2,670 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, the equivalent of 13 to 40 per cent of the fossil fuels emitted worldwide that year.
Common views of Asia and the Pacific, from the outside, often confer undue prominence to such things as typhoons, tsunami, earthquakes, malaria or even magic. While these can be confronting realities in the Asia-Pacific region beyond such differences even more remains unseen and misunderstood. Frequently unacknowledged are the influences Asian and Pacific cultures exert far beyond their borders.
Seen & Unseen: A Century of Stories from Asia & the Pacific is 29 stories inspired by one family’s experience spanning three generations of change. It blends anthropology, botany, ecology, economics, geography, history, politics and spiritual traditions. While each story is cradled in reality and crafted with a careful eye for historical accuracy, frailty of memory, the natural passing of people and the need to protect others has rendered some fictional even when they are not.
Influencing this work is an acceptance that interactions with people from our own culture are generally tangible and familiar, but when beyond our immediate culture things change. Now meaning and understanding must often be negotiated in intangible, non-rational and unseen ways. Foucault’s notion of the third space has influenced this work. Another influence is the Balinese belief that reality is an interaction of Sekala (The Seen) and Niskala (The Unseen).
Precisely what comprises the unseen realm varies throughout the region. What might be understood as mere micro ecology, in the developed world, can have spiritual explanations in some Asian and Pacific cultures. In rational secular society people commonly eschew magic as mythology or superstition, yet in parts of Asia and the Pacific what might be seen as myths and misconceptions can possess the power of reality.
I begin this journey in 1914 with Sid Thompson and D Company, a tale inspired by the little known ANMEF sent to capture New Guinea from Germany. While easily defeating the enemy unseen forces took an enormous toll. Sid Thompson also appears in Red Poppies and Janur. Several stories address changing Australian views of Japan through the encounters of ordinary people. Joss Sticks and Cracker Night and An Encounter with White Australia reveal Asian influences in Anglo-Australia of the 1950s. First Landfall and The Sublime to the Horrific chronicle my own first bumbling attempts at being in Asia. Some 15 stories are set over an 18-year period in Indonesia from the comfort of urban to life to that of forest people yet to develop the habit of money. These begin with tales about engaging with manifest cultural differences and lead into matters of more global significance. Campaign and The General Election take two Australians and Indonesian friends through a transition to democracy. An Unusual Kind Of Thunder and In The Charnel House deal directly with the Bali Bombings of 2002 while My Second Meeting With Jonathan unfolds in its aftermath. Singapore 43 years On is about returning to Singapore, a city transformed. Vietnam A War Revisited is a story of the anti-war movement and the draft told retrospectively from Hanoi. Finally, Sid Thompson returns in the more metaphysical tale Headland.
The basic and enduring interplay of the seen and the unseen worlds is of great significance to those of us from the land that’s girt by sea. While we might choose not to see, to look inwards and to rejoice in the notion that our land abounds in nature’s gifts, regional and planetary systems are unfettered by such introspective cultural constructions.
Last November I published the first of these wordles, by way of summarising the language used by my students who had written reports on a field study project conducted earlier in the year. My students completed a field study around the Sydney Harbour foreshore from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay.
After the students had completed a report on this activity, as part of an assessment task, I merged two student reports as the base document for a Wiki on urban processes. Both papers are now published on an urban proceses wiki for further refinement by all students who participated.
Here’s a wordle based on the two papers.
Not long ago we repeated the field study. My feeling is that this years students really understood the issues at a deeper level than last years. Here’s the wordle from the two best students reports.
Why a stronger result this year
Several factors operated to produce a stronger result overall, this year. I think the first of these was my own confidence. Last year the field study was run as part of a DER Research project. I was probably over ambitious in what I attempted to achieve and also less familiar with the software and what students might be able to achieve with it. Last year there was also an extraordinary amount of time pressure on the process. Another critically important factor was that all assessment was reduced to pen and paper work whereas this year a significant component of the assessment was digital. This last change reflects changing culture within the school and the increasing prominence of digital approaches, thanks to the DER 1:1 laptop program.
Scope of the Project
This report focuses on indicators and impacts of urban growth and decline identified in a field study that was undertaken along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. Participants investigated a variety of the geographical issues related to change in land use along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour how they are being resolved. Specifically the field study aimed to answer a set of research questions concerning:
• the use being made of the foreshore;
• the impact of such use on the biophysical and built environment; and,
• the ways in which impacts are being addressed.
With these questions as a focus participants gathered data at four separate locations: Pyrmont Bridge and King St Wharf; Millers Point; Walsh Bay; and Circular Quay West.
Not all of the main urban processes of urban renewal, urban consolidation, urban decline and gentrification were observable at each of the chosen locations but all of these processes were observable in the field study area.
Just how the participants reported on the field study activity in the follow-up assessment was open to one of two basic approaches.
• choose to report on each location in turn describing and analysing the indicators and impacts of each urban process at each location: or,
• discuss each urban processes citing examples of it’s occurrence, indicators and impacts at each of the four locations studied
With the emergence of the concept of a Nation State the world moved beyond tribe and clan, entering a new era in which the notion of the state rested on largely imagined and unsustainable historical constructions. Now in Europe we are witnessing the gradual end to such naive notions but in island nations such as Australia the illusion not only persists but can assume a large and unhealthy position within our domestic political agenda. Developing a sense of realism and effective border management, freed from the simplistic notions of border protection, is essential if both the political and actual health of our nation is to be sustained.
Developing the correct policy mix and response to developments in our region, rests on a clear understanding of just how Australia fits into it’s biogeographic and cultural context. None of this is simple, we’re bound to make mistakes. This post is about one such mistake, one that can still be easily avoided and one that can still be addressed with one small tweaking of our policy response.
The enthnogeographic realities of the border region
Back in August 2010 I wrote more extensively about the general issue of our borders in a post entitled Indonesia and Australia: perceptions of border security from the land that’s girt by sea. To anyone who read that post, or has reflected on the matter of Australia’s physical margins it will be clear that both biophysically and socio-culturally there is constant interaction between Australia and what surrounds us. Traditional fishers from the Indonesian archipelago continue to visit Australian waters while our border with Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a culturally arbitrary one.
A treaty, commonly known as The Torres Strait Treatybetween Australia and PNG describes both a seabed and fisheries boundary between the two states. It is a response to the porosity and enthnogeographic realities of the border region. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has a posted a most comprehensive website addressing this issue.
DFAT has published a map outlining the two boundaries.
This is no ordinary border, whatever the understanding most Australians might have this is a border that concedes in a most undeniable manner, the transitional nature of the border between Australia and PNG. The border region includes a Protected Zone. This is an area of the Torres Strait recognised by Australia and PNG as having special characteristics.
The Protected Zone is a recognition that Torres Strait Islanders and the coastal people of PNG need to carry on their traditional way of life. This geopolitical construct is a recognition of the realities. It permits traditional people from both countries to move freely (without passports or visas) for traditional activities in within the zone.
Micro-organisms a challenge for border security In March, 2008, Director of the Australian National University’s Masters of Applied Epidemiology Program at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health Professor Paul Kelly went on record saying that:
In May of that year the Australian Medical Journal published a report stating that as early as 2006 it was known that there was a rising incidence of TB in the Torres Strait and changing TB patterns in Far North Queensland. The report explained that there was:
A Senate Committee of inquiry
Ultimately there was a Senate Committee of inquiry into this problem. The Committee made five recommendations, but these are some of the more important ones:
1. The committee recommends that through the Package of Measures developed by the Health Issues Committee, the Australian Government continue to support PNG initiatives to establish new, or improve existing, health facilities in Western Province so that PNG nationals no longer need to seek health care in the Torres Strait.
2. The committee recommends that the Australian Government give serious consideration to measures that would further facilitate the proposal for greater cross-border involvement by Australian health professionals in both the provision of services and capacity building on the PNG side of the border.
3. The committee recommends that the Australian Government use the Papua New Guinea–Australia Partnership for Development to detail the assistance it is providing to PNG to improve the delivery of health services in the southern part of Western Province and to ensure that projects undertaken in this region are appropriately monitored and evaluated during implementation and after completion.
4. The committee recommends that to improve accountability and transparency of Australia’s development aid spending, AusAID’s Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) conduct an analysis of Australia’s funding in relation to Western Province in the Torres Strait region.
5. The committee recommends that the analysis mentioned in the previous recommendation also look closely at the extent and effectiveness of AusAID’s cooperation with Queensland Health and consider ways to ensure that their work in the Torres Strait region is seamless across the border and that their operations and funding complement each other.