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Keywords:

  • agricultural policy;
  • integrated pest management;
  • environmental policy;
  • Indonesia;
  • Asian financial crisis

The fact that most environmental degradation occurs in developing countries suggests the difficulties in implementing and sustaining environmental policies. In the current era of heightened environmental awareness and publicity for the impacts of climate change, where all countries are expected to take action, cases of ‘successful’ implementations of environmental policy in a developing country are instructive. This paper provides an overview of why and how the 1989–1999 national integrated pest management programme worked in Indonesia – before being terminated in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. It is seen that environmental programmes cannot be sustained without strong national political endorsement, focussed local research linked to international support, appropriate policy implementation mechanisms and demonstrated and direct benefits for local participants and communities.