Indigenous Peoples

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.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


An eco-disaster in the making, the Mamberamo mega-project is to go ahead soon, according to Indonesian government officials. The first stage of the project will go ahead after the implementation of 'special autonomy' and will be jointly managed by foreign investors, through the Jakarta and provincial administration, according to Dance Flassy, head of Development of Irian Jayan Autonomy.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The shooting of demonstrators, killings in police detention and increased military presence are making the prospects for peace in West Papua even more remote.

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001


The recent increase in tension in West Papua, punctuated by the murder of political prisoners and the arrest of independence leaders, has not stopped the transnational companies continuing with plans to exploit the territory's natural resources.

The giant Tangguh gas fields in off the north western coast, contain an estimated 20 trillion cubic feet of gas. The British American merger BP/Amoco (BP) plans to start production in 2005 and is seeking sales contracts in China.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

A series of official investigations into Freeport Indonesia, operators of the huge Grasberg gold and copper mine in West Papua, has done nothing as yet to curb the excessive environmental damage caused by the company.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

In this time of great economic, political and ecological uncertainty in Indonesia, regional autonomy is just one of the big question marks hanging over the country's future. It is a particularly complex issue because it concerns much more than the devolution of authority from Jakarta to regional level.