Politics & democracy

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.

A Down to Earth Special Report, June 2002

Written by Liz Chidley, edited by Carolyn Marr
and produced with the support of
Forest Peoples Programme and
Rainforest Foundation

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


As M. Prakosa settles into his job as Indonesia's fourth forestry minister in four years, the direction of forest policy is becoming clearer.

Forestry minister Prakosa made it clear from the start that he did not intend any immediate radical changes. In the hand-over ceremony from Marzuki Usman, he pledged to build on the foundations laid down by his predecessors rather than introduce new programmes.

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 new president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and her ministers face many tough challenges in coming months.

As the newly elected Megawati Soekarnoputri - Indonesia's first woman president - chose her new cabinet, there was intense speculation as to what kind of government she would form. The resulting "Gotong Royong" 32-member cabinet was hailed by the mainstream media as a good combination of professionals and experienced politicians.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


Megawati Soekarnoputri's new government is citing the threat of national disintegration as the reason for scaling down decentralisation.

Newly installed president Megawati has identified regional autonomy - Indonesia's decentralisation process launched in January this year - as a key issue in building democracy in the country.