Land and food security

Down to Earth No. 55, November 2002


Indonesian civil society groups and international observers are dismayed that forestry minister Prakosa has formally asked the Home Affairs ministry to cancel a pioneering local regulation on community forestry in Wonosobo (Perda 22/2001).

The Wonosobo regulation paved the way for a new approach to forest management in Central Java.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Peasant farmers across Indonesia are protesting against government policies which deprive them of land and livelihood. They are demanding a new, pro-poor approach to national development which promotes peasants' rights. In the meantime, violence and intimidation of peasants involved in land disputes continues.

Hundreds of peasant farmers from West Java tore down the gates to Indonesia's national parliament in Jakarta in September, during a protest to mark Farmers Day 2002.

Down to Earth No 55 November 2002


The events outlined below show that state-owned forestry company, Perhutani, remains an unreconstructed Suharto-era company, using violence and intimidation to deal with community opposition to its plans. They undermine the company's attempts to present itself to foreign buyers as a socially and environmentally progressive producer.

Perhutani has already run into trouble over certificates issued by the international eco-labelling organisation, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


NGOs in Manokwari, West Papua, have called for activities at BP's Tangguh gas project to be suspended, following a day-long occupation of the project's base-camp in May. The question of security and military or police intervention at the project site remains a major concern.

Around 50 villagers from Saengga village blockaded BP's Tangguh project base-camp in May, forcing the suspension of activities.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


The following is translated from 'Patih 'Pak Garang' Laman', an article by Edi Petebang, Kalimantan Review no. 55/March 2000

Patih Laman is a traditional leader of a Talang Mamak community - an indigenous people who live in the forests of Riau and Jambi, Sumatra. Some, but not all of the Talang Mamak's customary forests lie within Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park. The Talang Mamak follow a traditional way of life, practising rotational use of the forests.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

Kotopanjang dam victims to get compensation?

Over four thousand families forced to resettle on barren land due to a Japan-funded dam have become "developmental refugees" according to a Japanese newspaper report. The Kotopanjang dam in Riau, Sumatra was built on protected forest and the adat (customary) land of local communities in 1997 at a cost of 36.4 billion Yen, almost all of which was a Japanese government loan.

Down to Earth No 52, February 2002


A man was seriously wounded as violence against the local community continues at Aurora's gold mine in Central Kalimantan.

On January 19th a mobile brigade police officer from the Central Kalimantan police force shot a young man at Aurora's Krikil I mine site in North Barito district. The man, named Gunawan, was searching through waste rock at the minesite in Tanah Siang sub-district, when he and two others were discovered by four mobile brigade (Brimob) personnel.