Land and food security

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

This article, contributed by YL Franky of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), highlights ongoing protests against Inco, the Canadian-owned nickel mine at Sorowako, South Sulawesi.

Indigenous people affected by Inco's mining in Sorowako*, mineworkers, students and NGOs who have formed the Mine Victims' Solidarity Forum (FSMT), mounted a four-day occupation of the company's regional office in Makassar, South Sulawesi, from September 15 - 19th.

On 12 September, the FSMT

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

Construction work has started at a wood chip mill on Laut Island, South Kalimantan. It is part of a planned development of the pulp and paper industry in the province which threatens to destroy forests and impoverish local communities.

The new chip mill, which will have the capacity to produce 700,000 tonnes of wood chips, is being built by PT Mangium Anugrah Lestari (PT MAL) on Pulau Laut - a large island off the southeast coast of South Kalimantan province.

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 67  November 2005

Four leading Indonesian NGOs organised a workshop and seminar in early October on the policy implications of natural resource exploitation in Kalimantan. The meeting was attended by representatives of various communities affected by large-scale plantation and mining projects plus 21 NGOs from Kalimantan and 2 from Sarawak.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

Police open fire on farmers in Lombok

Indonesian human rights NGO Elsam has protested against the police shooting of farmers attending a national meeting in Lombok. Twenty seven people suffered gunshot injuries on September 18th when police dispersed a farmers' union general assembly organised by the Nusa Tenggara Barat union and the Federation of Indonesian Farmers Unions (FSPI). Eight people were detained at the meeting, which was attended by farmers' representatives from 26 countries.

Down to Earth No 66  August 2005

Protests have greeted a new regulation on land issued by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in May.

The new Presidential Regulation on Land Procurement for Public Development, (Perpres No 36/2005) permits the compulsory acquisition of land for the public good. It lists some 21 types of public development, including toll roads and telephone networks.