Land and food security

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003


Shrimp exports from developing countries - including Indonesia - are bringing foreign exchange earnings to exporter governments and profits to entrepreneurs. But the real price is being paid by communities whose coastal resources are wrecked both by commercial shrimp farms and shrimp trawling.

Forestry Minister Prakosa warned in May this year against the total destruction of mangrove forests in Indonesia. He said that strong determination and commitment was required to prevent further damage.

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003


Two dead in Lonsum plantation dispute

On July 21, one 30-year old man was killed and another was reported to be in a critical condition after police shot at villagers in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. Four of the injured were suffering from gun-shot wounds, according to media reports. Another man died on July 25th, during surgery to remove a bullet from his leg.

Down to Earth No 57  May 2003


A study by Indonesian and international experts has highlighted the marginalised position of indigenous peoples in Indonesia. The study reveals how, despite post-Suharto reforms, indigenous land and resource rights continue to be violated by logging and plantation companies.

Down to Earth No. 57, May 2003

 

Earth Day protests against TPL Sumatra pulp plant

April the 22nd - Earth Day - saw more protests against the Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) plant (formerly Indorayon) which was reopened earlier this year. Environmental organisation WALHI, plus a host of national and local NGOs and community groups, dedicated the events to the people and environmental campaigners of Porsea, who have long suffered from the mill's pollution.

Down to Earth No 57  May 2003


Indigenous Peoples walked out of a meeting with the British government aid agency, DFID, in March, in response to a controversial statement by a senior Indonesian government forestry official.

Around a hundred people from indigenous groups, local communities and supporting organisations refused to continue DFID's second annual Multi-stakeholder Forestry Programme meeting in Yogyakarta following comments by the Indonesian forestry ministry's secretary general.

Down to Earth No 57  May 2003


The next Annual Meeting of Indonesia's Peoples' Consultative Assembly (MPR) - Indonesia's highest legislative body - will be held in August 2003. One important item on the agenda is to the evaluation of the outstanding MPR Decrees (TAP MPR), including Decree No. IX/MPR/2001 on Agrarian Renewal and Natural Resources. The session will decide which decrees will move forward through the legal process to become laws and which ones must be cancelled.

The possible revocation of the MPR's Decree No.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


Pulp firms rank among Indonesia's most financially-troubled companies. They include the most deeply indebted of all, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), currently attempting to restructure its whopping US$13.9 billion debt with international creditors. APP, Indonesia's biggest pulp producer, has been singled out in a new report by New York-based group, Human Rights Watch, for being complicit in a series of human rights abuses against local people opposing its operations.