Politics & democracy

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006


The following account is by a member of DTE staff who attended the recent national forestry congress in Jakarta.

The fourth Indonesian Forestry Congress was held in the Forestry Department Building, Manggala Wanabakti, in Jakarta on 13-15 September 2006. The theme was 'From Crisis to Resurgence: Repositioning Indonesian Forestry', and the congress was opened by vice-president Yusuf Kalla.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

The following report is based on a DTE staff visit to Aceh in December 2005

Looking over the vast expanse of mudflats that stretched to the horizon, I asked where the village had been. The man pointed towards the sea. Apart from the few ragged remaining coconut palms, it was indistinguishable from the land which had been paddy fields and shrimp ponds.

One year on from the December 26th quake-tsunami disaster and the scale of the reconstruction work needed is all too apparent.

Down to Earth No 68   February 2006

Will legal action help save forests and livelihoods in the Mentawai Islands? The following is adapted from an Indonesian language report by WALHI West Sumatra and interviews with Yayasan Citra Mandiri, an NGO which focuses on Mentawai issues.

The Mentawai Islands, off Sumatra's western coast, are renowned for the unique culture of their indigenous communities and the rare species that have evolved in this isolated rainforest archipelago.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

August 5th saw the opening of the Indonesian government's first ever pollution case against a major mining company.

Down to Earth No 66  August 2005

Flash floods hit southeastern Aceh in late April, killing at least nineteen people and injuring dozens more. The disaster can be linked to the huge demand for reconstruction timber in post-tsunami Aceh.

The floods brought rocks, logs and water crashing down hillsides, completely destroying people's homes late on April 26th, when most villagers were asleep. The villages of Lawe Gerger, Lawe Mengkudu, and Lawe Lak-Lak in Southeast Aceh district, were worst hit.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

Indonesian government attempt to block West Papua solidarity meeting

Representatives from Asian countries including Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, East Timor, Burma, Sri Lanka and the Philippines joined others from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland for an international solidarity meeting on West Papua in April/May.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

The following letter, slightly abridged here, was addressed to Lord John Browne, CEO of BP, and is dated December 8th 2004.

As individuals and organisations in West Papua and internationally who are closely following the Tangguh LNG Project in West Papua, we are writing to express our mounting concerns and to call for your immediate intervention…

…Our concerns are centred on:

  • inadequate progress on key human rights commitments
  • a worrying lack of transparency
  • a fai