Papua

DTE works to supports human rights and ecological justice in Papua. This involves information, advocacy and capacity-building support work with partners to help local communities build sustainable livelihoods, in a deeply challenging context of global climate change, top-down investment policies and projects, a high level of militarisation and violence linked to the suppression of political dissent. [more]

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


The new president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and her ministers face many tough challenges in coming months.

As the newly elected Megawati Soekarnoputri - Indonesia's first woman president - chose her new cabinet, there was intense speculation as to what kind of government she would form. The resulting "Gotong Royong" 32-member cabinet was hailed by the mainstream media as a good combination of professionals and experienced politicians.

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 51 November 2001


WALHI, Indonesia's leading environmental organisation, has scored a landmark victory in its court case against copper and gold miners PT Freeport Indonesia, operators of the huge Grasberg mine in West Papua. Meanwhile, militarisation is being intensified at the mine, as the Indonesian security forces pledge to protect it from alleged threats from "separatist groups".

On August 28th the South Jakarta District Court declared Freeport guilty of violating Indonesian environmental law (No. 23, 1997).

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Stop Exxon Mobil! Free Kautsar!

The Aceh Community Democratic Resistance Front (FPDRA) is circulating a petition to free an Acehnese activist detained for speaking out against the US-based oil and gas multinational, Exxon Mobil. The petition also calls for a halt to Exxon's operations in Aceh.

Kautsar was arrested on July 11th by the local Aceh police force when he was on his way to a demonstration organised by a coalition of 13 organizations known as KARA (Aceh Community Action Coalition).

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


Indigenous peoples in the Mamberamo region of West Papua are calling for the 7.7 million hectare Mamberamo mega-project to be stopped.

The Mamberamo project, announced in the 1990s by former President Habibie when he was minister for research and technology, includes the construction of hydro-dams which will permanently affect the fragile ecosystem of the mangrove swamps downstream.

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.