Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


Despite a poor social and environmental record across the globe, commercial aquaculture - intensive fish-farming - is still regarded as having a bright future in Indonesia. According to former marine affairs minister Sarwono, of Indonesia's total fish production, 82% is from capture fisheries. "We need to push for aquaculture to boost fish production" he told a March workshop.

Down to Earth No. 51, November 2001

The prospect of widespread planting of genetically modified crops in Indonesia is causing alarm.

In September, 72 Indonesian NGOs grouped under the NGO Coalition for Biosafety and Food Safety lost their legal challenge against the Indonesian minister for agriculture, Bungaran Saragih, and PT Monagro, the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based biotechnology multinational, Monsanto. The NGO court case was aimed at annulling an agriculture ministry decree issued February 2001 (No.

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 50 August 2001

Violations of community rights are still continuing as companies and regional governments try to maximise income from the country's mineral resources. At the same time, mining companies are complaining about the "legal vacuum" hampering their operations in Indonesia.

Large-scale mining in Indonesia is in 'legal limbo', as the protesting companies see it, because their contracts, signed during the Suharto era, are being nibbled away by the demands of local governments newly empowered by regional autonomy.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Indonesian NGOs objecting to a government decree allowing the planting of Monsanto's GM cotton are taking the agriculture minister to court in an attempt to have the decree annulled.

The NGO Coalition for Biosafety and Food Safety has launched a court action to annul Decree No. 107/2001 which allows the limited release of genetically modified cotton in South Sulawesi province.

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001

The government's plan to expand oil palm plantations could founder because it fails to address the underlying question of community rights to farmland and forests.

Oil palm remains a central plank of Indonesia's economic recovery strategy despite growing social unrest arising from disputes over plantation land.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001

Indonesia has permitted the planting of genetically modified crops without public consultation and without adequate legal protection for farmers, consumers and the environment.

On March 15th, forty tons of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds arrived from South Africa at Hasanuddin airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi. The seeds were trucked away under armed guard, to be sold to farmers in seven districts in the province. They were imported by PT Monagro Kimia the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based agro-chemical giant, Monsanto.