Down to Earth No 60  February 2004

By Novi Siti Julaeha*

"When people are deprived of their rights, then it is natural to resist. And when injustice is purported to become law, then resistance is justified and it becomes their duty"(1)

Indonesia has a population of 201,241,999 people according to the 2000 census. The fourth largest country in the world after China, India, and the US, Indonesia is also a multi-ethnic society with 1,072 ethnic and sub ethnic groups(2).

Down to Earth No 60  February 2004

Indonesia's peasant farmers are being forced off their lands to make way for large-scale plantations, mining, forestry and industrial projects.

Down to Earth No 59  November 2003

Further blow to draft NRM bill

A coalition of civil society groups protested over Nabiel Makarim's controversial remarks in September, which were dismissive about the existing draft for a new natural resources management (NRM) bill.

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. 58, August 2003

Meanwhile, the need to bring about fundamental reform is not addressed.

The international environmental campaigning NGO Greenpeace believes that Indonesia has the world's highest rate of forest loss. Even Indonesian government ministers now admit publicly that deforestation in the country is out of control. "While we might still be having problems with environmental issues like flooding, forest fires and pollution, we nevertheless think we can find a way out.

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003

Shrimp exports from developing countries - including Indonesia - are bringing foreign exchange earnings to exporter governments and profits to entrepreneurs. But the real price is being paid by communities whose coastal resources are wrecked both by commercial shrimp farms and shrimp trawling.

Forestry Minister Prakosa warned in May this year against the total destruction of mangrove forests in Indonesia. He said that strong determination and commitment was required to prevent further damage.

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003

Two dead in Lonsum plantation dispute

On July 21, one 30-year old man was killed and another was reported to be in a critical condition after police shot at villagers in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. Four of the injured were suffering from gun-shot wounds, according to media reports. Another man died on July 25th, during surgery to remove a bullet from his leg.