KAMI is the most recent program, designed as an overt EU effort to begin to turn the Malaysian and Indonesian public in favor of the EU’s protectionist policies through communications and PR campaigns aimed at undermining domestic sustainability schemes in Indonesia and Malaysia.
This program is the newest “Trojan Horse” of the EU, designed entirely to use public funds to penetrate the dialogue on sustainability and certification and to ensure Indonesia and Malaysia adopt “relevant EU standards” for the palm oil sector.
What is Kami?
When Terpecaya ended last year, KAMI was introduced as EEAS’ next initiative, set to run through 2027 with €20m in funding provided directly by the EU and millions more coming from EU member states looking to peddle their influence in the ASEAN region.
The KAMI project is a program designed to be much more overt, and is aimed at employing an entire communications and PR plan to promote the EU’s vision on sustainable palm oil within Indonesia while pushing back domestic programs that have seen deforestation rates plunge and certification of small and large holders skyrocket in recent decades.
The ultimate goal of the EU is simple: to drive Indonesia and Malaysia to accept and adopt EU standards for their palm oil sectors while ignoring their own sustainability and certification efforts.
The EU itself explains that the program, run by the European Forest Institute and supported by other green NGOs, “will promote an increased alignment between EU-Indonesia interest, principles, policies and values, complemented by increased awareness, understanding and approval of the EU and its role in the country, the region and the world.”
KAMI is taking place under the EU-Indonesia Cooperation Facility, essentially a diplomacy program that is using its access to the Malaysian and Indonesian public and palm oil sector to deceive rather than assist. The entire function of the Cooperation Facility is to fund “public diplomacy” activities that promote the EU’s position on sustainable palm oil and other industries. One of the Cooperation Facility’s primary efforts is to implement a public communications and PR plan “aimed at ordinary citizens, primarily in the 18-35 age cohort, with the objective of measurably increasing the profile, awareness, understanding and approval of the EU’s partnership with the country.”
Looking at the EU’s proposed plan for the program, it is unsurprising that the EU openly admits it is working to“Develop a brand that promotes our values, goals, and overall objective and clarifies the identity of the EU in Indonesia.”
The EU is using KAMI as a vehicle to impart its own agenda on the Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil sectors and corrupt public opinion of the sectors’ efforts towards sustainability and certification in favor of a more EU centric approach.
It is essential that everyone in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur – government and private sector – understand that the goals of this EU funding program run contrary to the objectives of the domestic palm oil sectors and the EU’s intentions have all along been nefarious.