International

 

 

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001


The government's plan to expand oil palm plantations could founder because it fails to address the underlying question of community rights to farmland and forests.

Oil palm remains a central plank of Indonesia's economic recovery strategy despite growing social unrest arising from disputes over plantation land.

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001


The pulp industry in Indonesia is financially, socially and ecologically unsustainable, but the Indonesian government, local authorities and investors alike are failing to take responsibility.

Indonesia has prided itself on being one of the world's lowest cost producers of paper pulp. Foreign investors have supported the growth of this industry, despite its reliance on the destruction of natural forests and illegal logging for raw materials.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

The Wahid government's emphasis on foreign investment prioritises the needs of multinational companies over sustainable, community based natural resource management

Soon after taking office, President Wahid pledged his commitment to foreign companies and declared his new government investor-friendly.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

Indigenous communities whose forests have been plundered by logging companies are demanding compensation for the damage. Deprived of the protection they enjoyed under former President Suharto, the companies are having to take them seriously.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

Siberut provides a vivid example of the way the powerful combination of Indonesia's economic problems and changes to local autonomy and forestry legislation threaten the future of the country's forests and indigenous people. A UNESCO workshop on conservation and sustainable development for the Siberut biosphere zone brought various conflicting parties together to look for local solutions.

Down to Earth No 43, November 1999

Farmers' groups and NGOs supporting them in south-east Asia are concerned that a second Green Revolution is gathering pace, fuelled by advances in genetic engineering. These developments involve close collaboration between international and national research institutions and the private sector – mainly giant biotech companies.

Down to Earth No. 43, November 1999

East Timor has gained its freedom at a terrible cost. Now a traumatised population must start to rebuild their country. Substantial amounts of overseas aid may be needed, but East Timor's government-in-waiting should keep a cautious distance from some of those who are eager to offer funds.