Sumatra

 

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Aceh's forests are being stripped in the name of post-tsunami reconstruction. In reality, the timber becomes part of lucrative international timber smuggling.

The products of illegal logging from South-east Aceh are transported to Sibolga on the west coast of North Sumatra, and from South Aceh to ports near Medan in North Sumatra. From there, they are exported to Malaysia and further afield.

Down to Earth No 68   February 2006

Will legal action help save forests and livelihoods in the Mentawai Islands? The following is adapted from an Indonesian language report by WALHI West Sumatra and interviews with Yayasan Citra Mandiri, an NGO which focuses on Mentawai issues.

The Mentawai Islands, off Sumatra's western coast, are renowned for the unique culture of their indigenous communities and the rare species that have evolved in this isolated rainforest archipelago.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Afnawi Noeh, popularly known as Abah Nawi, leader of the indigenous community organisation BPRPI, died in February 2006 aged 69. He and his family had been fighting for land rights recognition for peasant farmers in North Sumatra for over 50 years.

Abah was a leading member in Indonesia's indigenous movement, attending AMAN's inaugural conference in 1999 and becoming a Council member. BPRPI currently acts as AMAN's secretariat in North Sumatra.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

The following report is based on a DTE staff visit to Aceh in December 2005

Looking over the vast expanse of mudflats that stretched to the horizon, I asked where the village had been. The man pointed towards the sea. Apart from the few ragged remaining coconut palms, it was indistinguishable from the land which had been paddy fields and shrimp ponds.

One year on from the December 26th quake-tsunami disaster and the scale of the reconstruction work needed is all too apparent.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

New measures to promote fastwood plantations

Forestry minister Kaban has issued five new measures aimed at reducing illegal logging and reviving the timber industry. These support his policy announcement made in July about speeding up the establishment of fastwood plantations to supply the country's pulp and paper plants. Foreign companies will now be allowed to invest in timber plantations.

Down to Earth No 64  March 2005

For many tsunami survivors whose homes and livelihoods were totally swept away in the early hours of December 26th, rebuilding their lives means starting from scratch. What lies ahead for these shattered communities and who will decide what happens next?

Acehnese civil society organisations are highlighting the overriding need for participation by the affected communities in the reconstruction and recovery processes and for transparency and accountability in the use of funds.

Down to Earth No 64  March 2005

Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) Press Statement

All that's left for the survivors now is the thin thread of life and a stack of questions and fears.

The government has a three-stage plan to tackle the disaster in Aceh and North Sumatra. The emergency stage programme will be the priority until December 2005, when aid will be directed towards clothing, food and health. The emergency funding amounts to Rp1.35 trillion.