Economy & debt

DTE 95, March 2013

Indonesia’s Catholic Church leaders have expressed concern about the over-exploitation of natural resources and the resulting social conflict and marginalisation of vulnerable communities. Short-termism in politics and the denial of environmental justice makes matters worse, they say, calling on politicians, business and the Christian community to take steps to protect resources, livelihoods and the right to life of current and future generations.

DTE 93-94, December 2012

Last year DTE reported on the global land-grab phenomenon and its connection to the 2008 financial crisis, the global food price spike of 2007/2008 as well as the ongoing climate change & energy crisis.[1] Since then, more analysis of data on land deals has become available which fills in some of the detail in the picture. In this update, we take another look at the global rush for land with a focus on investors and their obligations to the people affected by land-grabbing.

DTE 89-90, November 2011, Special Papua edition

The following report, by independent researcher Anna Bolin,[1] explores the global trends and influences at work behind agriculture mega-projects like MIFEE in Papua.

Down to Earth No.83, December 2009

The following is an abridged translation of an Indonesian-language article by M. Riza Damanik and Abdul Halim.1

Down to Earth No.79, November 2008


Indonesian organisations have circulated the following information about the impact of the global credit crunch and falling palm oil prices on peasant farmers in the province Jambi, Sumatra. Translation from the Indonesian by DTE.


Since palm oil became 'the golden crop' around the year 2000, the European market for this commodity has grown year on year, not only to satisfy demand from the food and cosmetics industries, but also as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels.

Down to Earth No.78, August 2008


Ben Young of Jubilee Scotland writes about the on-going campaign to cancel Suharto's debt legacy to the UK.


Indonesia's total external debt is over US$130 billion. Much of this money should by rights be owed by the estate of the late General Suharto himself. Ranked by Transparency International as the most corrupt dictator of modern times, he is reckoned to have stolen up to $31 billion. But Suharto was not the sole culprit of this corruption.