Newsletter articles

DTE's quarterly newsletter provides information on ecological justice in Indonesia.

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Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Communities who depend upon coastal resources for their livelihoods are being pushed aside - sometimes by violent means - as entrepreneurs rush to maximise profits from the seas.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


Megawati Soekarnoputri's new government is citing the threat of national disintegration as the reason for scaling down decentralisation.

Newly installed president Megawati has identified regional autonomy - Indonesia's decentralisation process launched in January this year - as a key issue in building democracy in the country.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Separate special autonomy laws have now been passed for Aceh and West Papua. The laws were originally designed to offer something over and above the 'normal' autonomy now being implemented in other regions. The aim was to undermine independence movements wanting complete separation from Indonesia by granting local populations a greater measure of self-government.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Preparations for BP's giant Tangguh gas project are moving ahead at a time of heightened tension in West Papua as the Indonesian military toughens its stance against 'threats to security' in the disputed territory.

The killing of five mobile brigade (Brimob) police officers and a logging company employee on 13th June, has sparked a brutal response by the Indonesian security forces in Wasior subdistrict, to the east of BP's Tangguh project in Bintuni Bay.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


The campaign to stop illegal logging has become a key focus for Indonesia's new forestry minister, but the problem is immense and can only be properly tackled, say NGOs, by a complete overhaul of forest management in Indonesia.

Illegal logging has reached unprecedented levels in post-Suharto Indonesia, with up to 56.6 million cubic metres of logs being felled without permits each year.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Protected areas such as Siberut are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation - legal and illegal - due to Indonesia's prolonged economic crisis, coupled with regional autonomy and the devolution of revenue gathering.

The island of Siberut has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1981 due to its rich forests, unique wildlife and the traditional lifestyle and beliefs of the indigenous people.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001

Indonesia has permitted the planting of genetically modified crops without public consultation and without adequate legal protection for farmers, consumers and the environment.

On March 15th, forty tons of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds arrived from South Africa at Hasanuddin airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi. The seeds were trucked away under armed guard, to be sold to farmers in seven districts in the province. They were imported by PT Monagro Kimia the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based agro-chemical giant, Monsanto.