Economy & debt

Down to Earth No 66  August 2005

Flash floods hit southeastern Aceh in late April, killing at least nineteen people and injuring dozens more. The disaster can be linked to the huge demand for reconstruction timber in post-tsunami Aceh.

The floods brought rocks, logs and water crashing down hillsides, completely destroying people's homes late on April 26th, when most villagers were asleep. The villages of Lawe Gerger, Lawe Mengkudu, and Lawe Lak-Lak in Southeast Aceh district, were worst hit.

Down to Earth No 64  2005

Indonesia owes around US$1.76 billion to the British government. While it is true that this represents just a small fraction of the overall external debt of US$132 billion, it is still a significant sum, far outstripping, for example, the $96 million that the UK government has pledged to the tsunami aid effort.

Most of Indonesia's debt to the UK (US$1.408bn) is in the form of export credit facilities, owed to Britain's Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD). The ECGD underwrites Indonesian contracts with private UK companies.

Down to Earth No 64  March 2005

Will the tsunami disaster bring a greater debt burden for Indonesia's future generation?

An international summit to raise funds for relief in countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami, was held in Jakarta on January 6th.

Down to Earth No. 58, August 2003


Meanwhile, the need to bring about fundamental reform is not addressed.

The international environmental campaigning NGO Greenpeace believes that Indonesia has the world's highest rate of forest loss. Even Indonesian government ministers now admit publicly that deforestation in the country is out of control. "While we might still be having problems with environmental issues like flooding, forest fires and pollution, we nevertheless think we can find a way out.

Down to Earth No 57 May 2003

Two studies commissioned by BP have highlighted serious concerns over the impact of the planned Tangguh gas project in West Papua.

BP has announced the findings of two studies it commissioned to examine the potential impacts of the Tangguh gas project in Bintuni Bay, West Papua, on human rights, local communities and the environment.

Down to Earth No 57  May 2003


Indonesia's most prominent environmental group, WALHI, and a number of other NGOs have rejected funding from the USAID, DFID and AusAID, because of their governments' war against Iraq.

WALHI announced it would sever ties with the American, British and Australian government aid agencies in a public statement issued March 24th, which condemned the coalition's invasion of Iraq as a crime against humanity.

Down to Earth No 52 February 2002

BP currently joint owns and manages Indonesia's biggest coal mine. It has 50% of the shares in PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC), a massive open cast mine near Sangatta, East Kutai district, East Kalimantan province. The Anglo-Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto, owns the other 50%. KPC is currently embroiled in a power struggle with the local authorities as, under the initial agreement, this foreign-owned company must sell off 51% of its shares to Indonesian parties [1].