Sumatra

 

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Afnawi Noeh, popularly known as Abah Nawi, leader of the indigenous community organisation BPRPI, died in February 2006 aged 69. He and his family had been fighting for land rights recognition for peasant farmers in North Sumatra for over 50 years.

Abah was a leading member in Indonesia's indigenous movement, attending AMAN's inaugural conference in 1999 and becoming a Council member. BPRPI currently acts as AMAN's secretariat in North Sumatra.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

"There is no such thing as a spontaneous forest fire in Indonesia", forestry minister Kaban pronounced, as smoke from forest fires in Sumatra once again caused serious air pollution in Malaysia and Singapore from July to September.

The minister stated publicly that the fires are due to competing claims over 'unproductive' forest areas. There are some 17 million ha of forest land in Indonesia which has been over-logged or zoned for conversion, according to officials.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

New measures to promote fastwood plantations

Forestry minister Kaban has issued five new measures aimed at reducing illegal logging and reviving the timber industry. These support his policy announcement made in July about speeding up the establishment of fastwood plantations to supply the country's pulp and paper plants. Foreign companies will now be allowed to invest in timber plantations.

Down to Earth No 66  August 2005

Flash floods hit southeastern Aceh in late April, killing at least nineteen people and injuring dozens more. The disaster can be linked to the huge demand for reconstruction timber in post-tsunami Aceh.

The floods brought rocks, logs and water crashing down hillsides, completely destroying people's homes late on April 26th, when most villagers were asleep. The villages of Lawe Gerger, Lawe Mengkudu, and Lawe Lak-Lak in Southeast Aceh district, were worst hit.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

In an attempt to save forests and livelihoods, environmentalists have sought a judicial review of the government's 2004 decision to permit mining in protected areas.

The NGOs and individuals challenging the government on its pro-industry mining policy are focussing on the negative environmental, social and economic impacts.

Down to Earth No 64  March 2005

For many tsunami survivors whose homes and livelihoods were totally swept away in the early hours of December 26th, rebuilding their lives means starting from scratch. What lies ahead for these shattered communities and who will decide what happens next?

Acehnese civil society organisations are highlighting the overriding need for participation by the affected communities in the reconstruction and recovery processes and for transparency and accountability in the use of funds.

Down to Earth No 64  March 2005

Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) Press Statement

All that's left for the survivors now is the thin thread of life and a stack of questions and fears.

The government has a three-stage plan to tackle the disaster in Aceh and North Sumatra. The emergency stage programme will be the priority until December 2005, when aid will be directed towards clothing, food and health. The emergency funding amounts to Rp1.35 trillion.