Java, Madura & Bali



Down to Earth No.80-81, June 2009

In April the Indonesian people elected their paliamentary representatives. Partai Demokrat, the party of incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), secured the strongest position with around 20% of the seats. On 8th July are the elections for president and vice-president, with three pairs of candidates in the running: SBY and Boediono, Megawati and Prabowo, and Jusuf Kalla and Wiranto. What are the prospects for ecological justice?

Down to Earth No. 76-77 May 2008


New regulation means cheap forests for mining

A new government regulation on non-tax income from forest areas has caused outrage among NGOs by setting low prices for the use of forests by mining companies and other non-forestry sector users.

The regulation - PP 2/2008 - sets the rate for mining in protection forests from Rp 2,250,000 - Rp3 million (around US$240-320) per hectare per year. In production forests, the rate is Rp 1.8 million - 2.4 million (around US$192 - 255) per year.

Down to Earth No. 74, August 2007

Indonesia's forestry department is allocating millions of hectares of land to a new scheme aimed at increasing the supply for wood for the pulp and timber industries, as well as tackling poverty. But serious flaws with the 'peoples plantations' programme are raising concerns that the scheme could do more harm than good.

Indonesia's forestry department announced target figures for 'Peoples Plantations' (Hutan Tanaman Rakyat - HTR) in February this year.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

More than 5 years since the MPR Decree IX/2001 was passed (see DTE 52), it seems that agrarian reform is eventually going to see the light of the day. In his postponed New Year State Address at the end of January, President Yudhoyono announced that the long overdue Agrarian Reform Program or PPAN, will take place in 2007, adhering to principle 'Land for justice and welfare of the people'.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

The arrival of heavy monsoon rains in Java has made life even more miserable for the thousands of people affected by the East Java mudflow disaster (see DTE 71). The Sidoardjo mudflow, referred to in Indonesian as 'Lumpur Sidoardjo', or simply 'Lusi', which first erupted in May 2006, continues unabated. It has displaced thousands of people, yet, despite overwhelming evidence of criminal negligence, the government has not taken legal action over the disaster.

Down to Earth No 63  November 2004

Munir poisoned

In November it was revealed that leading Indonesian human rights defender, Munir, who died in September whilst on a flight from Indonesia to the Netherlands, was poisoned with arsenic. Indonesian and international colleagues have expressed shock at the news that Munir was murdered. Munir - an outspoken critic of the military, was co-founder of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial).

Down to Earth No 62  August 2004

Indonesia's new plantation law, aimed at providing legal certainty for investors, will do nothing to address conflicts between local communities and companies. It could well make things worse.

The Plantations Bill was endorsed by Indonesia's national parliament on 12th July, two years after it was tabled.