International Financial Institutions

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. 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. 43, November 1999

East Timor has gained its freedom at a terrible cost. Now a traumatised population must start to rebuild their country. Substantial amounts of overseas aid may be needed, but East Timor's government-in-waiting should keep a cautious distance from some of those who are eager to offer funds.

Down to Earth No 43, November 1999

Farmers' groups and NGOs supporting them in south-east Asia are concerned that a second Green Revolution is gathering pace, fuelled by advances in genetic engineering. These developments involve close collaboration between international and national research institutions and the private sector – mainly giant biotech companies.

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 Special Issue, October 1999

The 1999 Congress was the result of a three year period of planning and organising involving indigenous peoples' groups and local and national NGOs which had supported indigenous communities' fight for their rights over a number of years.

By the mid-1990s there were an increasing number of opportunities for indigenous peoples to express their own views at

Down to Earth No. 42 1999

The Central Kalimantan Mega-project, or 'PLG', as it is known in Indonesia, has been an unmitigated disaster. The ecology and biodiversity of a vast area has been devastated; indigenous communities have lost their resources and livelihoods; and the transmigrant families who were brought in to work on the project remain dependent on government assistance as their harvests fail repeatedly.