Forests & forest fires

Down to Earth No.79, November 2008


International pressure to get pilot schemes for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) up and running between now and the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 could mean that crucial issues - including land and resource rights in forests - are sidestepped.


Why the pressure for REDD? Land use change and forestry are estimated to account for around 20% of annual carbon emissions, second only to the energy sector.

Down to Earth No.78, August 2008


A food mega-project planned for a vast area in the Papuan district of Merauke is causing concern that indigenous people's land will be taken and their livelihoods destroyed. As global food prices soar, there is also concern that food exports could be prioritised over domestic needs.

Down to Earth No.78, August 2008

Papuans are calling on the Indonesian government to stop issuing licences for companies logging and developing plantations in Papua's forests until indigenous rights are protected.

Down to Earth No 78  August 2008

Plans to push ahead with oil palm expansion in Papua have run into opposition from local people.

Down to Earth No.78, August 2008

NGOs have called on British MPs to take action on climate justice and sustainable livelihoods, impunity, Aceh and West Papua.


In a meeting with British parliamentarians in London, June 3rd, a group of UK-based NGOs, including Down to Earth, called on the British government to take action on a range of issues related to human rights and development.

Down to Earth No.78, August 2008

Posthumous award for indigenous leader

Bapak Raja J.P. Rahail, an indigenous leader from the Kei islands in eastern Indonesia was posthmously awarded the Asia Indigenous Peoples Prize at a meeting of Asian indigenous groups in July. He was praised for his role in strengthening indigenous institutions and for his handling of conflict in the area.

Down to Earth No.76-77, May 2008


This May marks the tenth anniversary of Suharto's fall from power. The former president, who headed a military regime which ruled Indonesia for 32 years, died in January this year aged 86.