Coastal communities and fisheries

Down to Earth No. 51, November 2001

The mining of coastal sands for export is blighting the livelihoods of small-scale fisherfolk in Riau.

Sand mining in the coastal waters of Riau is taking a heavy toll on the marine environment and the peoples who depend on it. Riau province, eastern Sumatra, is closest to the biggest consumer of the sand - Singapore. Companies, backed by Singaporean buyers, use dredges that excavate sand at a rate of 6,000 cubic metres a day.

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

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. 49, May 2001

Special autonomy delayed...

The May 1st deadline for passing laws on ‘special autonomy’ for Aceh and West Papua is being postponed. Home affairs minister Surjadi Sudirdja, who announced the decision in late April, did not set a new deadline for passing the laws. According to the Indonesian Observer, the two separate bills propose that Aceh and West Papua be given 80% of revenues from natural resources.

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001

As huge oil and gas developments continue in Indonesia, communities in areas where these industries operate are becoming more vocal in demanding a stop to pollution and fair compensation.

Communities in Riau, East Kalimantan, Aceh, and Java are engaged in an unequal struggle with some of the world's most powerful transnational companies.

Down to Earth No. 48 February 2001

US-based mining giant Newmont has launched an aggressive attack on environmental group WALHI, over accusations of damage to human health at the company's gold mine at Ratatotok, North Sulawesi.

In January WALHI announced the results of blood tests on 20 people living at Buyat Bay, near PT Newmont Minahasa Raya's mine. The people had all complained of deteriorating health during the past three years. Blood samples, taken by WALHI North Sulawesi and JATAM and analysed in a US laboratory, showed high levels of arsenic and mercury.

Down to Earth No. 48 February 2001

PT Aneka Tambang, part-owned by the Indonesian state, has appointed Tessag Ina GmbH as its contractor to build and finance its planned new ferro-nickel plant in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi. Two other ferro-nickel smelters are already in operation there. Construction of the 13,000 tonnes per year facility is expected to start in the first half of 2001 and it is scheduled to start production just over two years later. Financing is expected to come partially from Germany's IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG.