Java, Madura & Bali



Down to Earth No 59  November 2003

By Idham Kurniawan* In March this year, a new regional organisation for Indigenous Peoples on Java was established - Paguyuban Masyarakat Adat Pulau Java, or PAMA PUJA.

When we talk about Indigenous Peoples, many people immediately think of people who live in remote areas on islands outside Java, such as Kalimantan and Papua. They think that on Java, there are no longer peoples who live according to traditional values and who hold on firmly to theiradat (customary) way of life.

Down to Earth No 59  November 2003

Interview with Idham Kurniawan


What are the main problems facing Masyarakat Adat [indigenous peoples] in Java today?

The main problem is that they have no recognition of their customary territory and much of this has been taken over - mainly by Perhutani (state-owned forestry company) - for plantations. The second problem is the government's failure to recognise their adat beliefs and institutions.

Down to Earth No 59  November 2003

A notorious dam project, designed during the Suharto era, is due to go ahead next year despite opposition from local people and NGOs supporting them.

The Jatigede dam, in Sumedang, West Java, is being billed as the answer to flooding and drought problems in the northern lowlands of West Java. The government claims it will provide 90,000 hectares of farmland with irrigated water, increase the rice harvest as well as generate electricity for industry and supply clean drinking water for residents.

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003

Indonesia is being pushed by powerful mining multinationals to open up protected forests for mining, but the international campaign to prevent yet more forest destruction is gaining momentum.

A final decision on whether or not companies can mine in Indonesia's protected forests - putting at risk some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world - is expected to be issued by Indonesia's parliament soon.

An Indonesian NGO coalition, led by mining advocacy network, JATAM, is campaigning to ma

Down to Earth No. 57, May 2003


Earth Day protests against TPL Sumatra pulp plant

April the 22nd - Earth Day - saw more protests against the Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) plant (formerly Indorayon) which was reopened earlier this year. Environmental organisation WALHI, plus a host of national and local NGOs and community groups, dedicated the events to the people and environmental campaigners of Porsea, who have long suffered from the mill's pollution.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

Floods which have swept through Indragiri Hulu and Pelalawan have been blamed on deforestation in water catchments of the two districts in Riau. "So far, the rainfall is normal", the head of the local meteorology office told reporters. "Yet the rainfall, together with the…plundering of the forests in the province, has worsened the flood which was basically caused by the overflowing of the Kotopanjang reservoir in Kampar", he said.

Down to Earth No. 56, February 2003

The British oil company BP has been accused of negligence in maintaining gas collection pipes at its offshore Pagerungan gas field near Madura in East Java. The president of state oil company Pertamina, Baihaki Hakim, said in January that BP should have anticipated a possible gas leak but had "failed to deal with it". The leaks forced BP to shut down five gas fields in the Pagerungan contract area, reducing gas supply to Java-based industries to 100,000 million cubic feet per day from 180,000 million cf/d.