Sulawesi

 

 

Down to Earth No. 55, November 2002


Smoke from forest fires and land clearance has choked Central Kalimantan for three months, causing serious health, transport and economic problems. West Kalimantan and Riau have also been badly affected.

The problems have been worst in Central Kalimantan, which has been hit even harder than in 1997. Palangkaraya has suffered from thick smog continuously since mid-August. By October there were 400 to 500 hot spots (clusters of fires) around the provincial capital.

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 55  November 2002


Peasant farmers across Indonesia are protesting against government policies which deprive them of land and livelihood. They are demanding a new, pro-poor approach to national development which promotes peasants' rights. In the meantime, violence and intimidation of peasants involved in land disputes continues.

Hundreds of peasant farmers from West Java tore down the gates to Indonesia's national parliament in Jakarta in September, during a protest to mark Farmers Day 2002.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

The forested Kambuno mountains are the adat (customary) lands of the indigenous Poboya peoples and provide the basis for their livelihoods.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

Kotopanjang dam victims to get compensation?

Over four thousand families forced to resettle on barren land due to a Japan-funded dam have become "developmental refugees" according to a Japanese newspaper report. The Kotopanjang dam in Riau, Sumatra was built on protected forest and the adat (customary) land of local communities in 1997 at a cost of 36.4 billion Yen, almost all of which was a Japanese government loan.

Down to Earth No 52, February 2002

East Kalimantan's Kelian gold mine, operated by Anglo-Australian mining multinational Rio Tinto, was forced to cut production in January when four former employees blockaded an access road to the site.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Communities who depend upon coastal resources for their livelihoods are being pushed aside - sometimes by violent means - as entrepreneurs rush to maximise profits from the seas.