Land and food security

Down to Earth No 52, February 2002


The highly-indebted pulp and paper group, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), commissioned an environmental audit in September to allay fears over rainforest destruction in Sumatra.

Down to Earth No. 52, February 2002


The pattern of human rights violations arising from land conflicts during the Suharto era still persists today, more than three years since the dictator was forced to resign.

The high incidence of land conflicts and the persistent pattern of violence against peasants and activists defending peasants' rights shows that there has been little change in the way the government handles land conflicts since the Suharto days.

Down to Earth No 52 February 2002

Forty seven farmers were rounded up by armed police, Brimob, forestry company staff and hired thugs in a November pre-dawn raid on Cibaliung village, Banten province, Java. Some were handcuffed and beaten during the forcible eviction from land now claimed by privatised forestry company, PT Perhutani. The farmers were denied access to lawyers. The evictions went ahead even though the Cibaliung farmers have documented proof of ownership of the land and pay taxes on it.

Down to Earth No 52 February 2002

In November Indonesia's highest legislative body, the Peoples' Consultative Assembly (MPR), passed a decree which provides the legal framework for the reform of laws relating to the and natural resources management.

Decree No. IX/MPR/2001 on Agrarian Reform and Natural Resources Management acknowledges the weakness of existing laws and the resulting conflicts.

Down to Earth No 52 February 2002


Since DTE last reported on this project in August 2001 (DTE 50), the international profile of BP's Tangguh gas development in West Papua has established it as a "test case" for putting good corporate intentions into practice. However, questions remain over how sincere BP is in carrying out its commitments. And how far external factors - like the Indonesian military - will limit the company's capacity to do so.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


In April this year a series of workshops on adat (customary community organisation) and agroforestry were organised by the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the Indonesian indigenous peoples' alliance AMAN. The workshops were facilitated by Dr Marcus Colchester, director of the UK-based Forest Peoples Programme, and management committee member of DTE. The programme was funded by BSP-Kemala.

Down to Earth No. 51, November 2001


The prospect of widespread planting of genetically modified crops in Indonesia is causing alarm.

In September, 72 Indonesian NGOs grouped under the NGO Coalition for Biosafety and Food Safety lost their legal challenge against the Indonesian minister for agriculture, Bungaran Saragih, and PT Monagro, the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based biotechnology multinational, Monsanto. The NGO court case was aimed at annulling an agriculture ministry decree issued February 2001 (No.