Indigenous Peoples

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

Siberut provides a vivid example of the way the powerful combination of Indonesia's economic problems and changes to local autonomy and forestry legislation threaten the future of the country's forests and indigenous people. A UNESCO workshop on conservation and sustainable development for the Siberut biosphere zone brought various conflicting parties together to look for local solutions.

Down to Earth No. 44 February 2000

With the release of new maps and data on forest cover (or the lack of it) in Indonesia, the Jakarta government is having to face up to the country's rapid deforestation rate. International donors are pressing Wahid's government to take action now to stop illegal logging and to draw up a coherent medium-term national forestry programme.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

A crisis in the oil palm industry is making a mockery of predictions that exports of the crop will help haul Indonesia out of its economic woes.

Export orders for Indonesian palm oil products fell sharply when the first shipment of palm oil, contaminated with diesel oil, was rejected by buyers in the Netherlands in October last year.

Down to Earth No 43, November 1999

On Agrarian Day, September 24th, the prominent peasants organisation, SPSU, issued a statement urging Indonesia's Consultative Assembly (MPR) to put the interests of rural communities at the heart of the government's programme.

Down to Earth No. 43, November 1999

In South Kalimantan province, coal mining - involving Australian companies - is continuing to disrupt the lives of local communities. In Hulu Sungai Utara district, the district head, Suhailin Muchtar said that both legal and illegal coal mining activities had damaged the environment. PT Adaro Indonesia's coal mine (part-owned by Australia's New Hope) operates in this district.

Down to Earth No 43, November 1999

After many years of peaceful process and unsuccessful negotiations, Dayaks communities in Central Kalimantan have moved back on to their traditional mining sites. This direct action was taken as a last resort to defend rights consistently denied by the Indonesian government and by the mining company which took over their lands.

Down to Earth No 43, November 1999

AMAN, the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago, was created as a result of the Indigenous Congress held in Jakarta in March. Since then, this first national indigenous peoples' organisation has begun to make its presence felt in a number of ways.

Regional meetings of AMAN have been held in several places between July and September.