Down to Earth No 55  November 2002

The Indonesian government is close to approving the resumption of open-pit mining in protected forests - a move that is likely to speed up deforestation and the impoverishment of indigenous peoples.

Six mining companies will be the first to get approval from Jakarta to resume mining operations in protected forests, according to Indonesian press reports. The move is being vigorously opposed by civil society groups.

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. 45, May 2000

Indigenous communities whose forests have been plundered by logging companies are demanding compensation for the damage. Deprived of the protection they enjoyed under former President Suharto, the companies are having to take them seriously.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

The fate of Newmont's Sulawesi gold mine has drawn attention to contracts in the context of moves towards regional autonomy.

PT Newmont Minahasa Raya, 80% owned by Newmont Mining Corp. of the US, operates the mine at Ratatotok, which produces 340 kg of gold a year.

Down to Earth No. 44,February 2000

Transmigration, the government programme which resettles families from Java and Bali to lesser populated islands, has contributed to underlying tensions between communities in Maluku, recent scene of bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians. Now the government is preparing to send refugees from this and other conflicts back into the transmigration programme - a policy which may lead to yet more conflict in the future.

Down to Earth No. 42, August 1999

The indigenous people of Yamdena Island in the Tanimbars, Maluku, have resumed protests against the destruction of their forests after the government withdrew from an agreement to halt commercial logging on the island.

Down to Earth No. 39, November 1998

The government has produced a new document on transmigration which describes the 'achievements' of the past twenty five years and outlines the priorities for the future programme.

For almost fifty years, the transmigration programme has meant the violation of rights of indigenous communities whose lands are taken for resettlement sites.