Politics & democracy

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Please note: this editorial was prepared before the change of president. To see our statement on this change please click here.

Indonesia today faces an uncertain future. President Wahid is expected to be forced out of power any day and, under a future President Megawati Soekarnoputri, democratic reform could be stopped in its tracks.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Preparations for BP's giant Tangguh gas project are moving ahead at a time of heightened tension in West Papua as the Indonesian military toughens its stance against 'threats to security' in the disputed territory.

The killing of five mobile brigade (Brimob) police officers and a logging company employee on 13th June, has sparked a brutal response by the Indonesian security forces in Wasior subdistrict, to the east of BP's Tangguh project in Bintuni Bay.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Protected areas such as Siberut are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation - legal and illegal - due to Indonesia's prolonged economic crisis, coupled with regional autonomy and the devolution of revenue gathering.

The island of Siberut has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1981 due to its rich forests, unique wildlife and the traditional lifestyle and beliefs of the indigenous people.

London 31st July 2001

"Once again international attention has focused on the power politics of Jakarta while ignoring the fate of Indonesia's many millions of dispossessed people, particularly those on the 'outer islands'", says Frances Carr of Down to Earth – the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001

The Wahid government is making last-minute efforts to comply with demands for forest reform agreed last year with its international creditors. Many NGOs feel these efforts will not be enough to stop the rampant destruction in Indonesia's forests. They suspect that the reform process is being driven by the priorities of the creditors who want conservation and "sustainable" management, but also debt repayment.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001

The shooting of demonstrators, killings in police detention and increased military presence are making the prospects for peace in West Papua even more remote.

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001

In March the US-based oil company Exxon Mobil announced it was suspending operations at its Aceh oil and gas fields due to the deteriorating security situation. It is no coincidence that only days later, the Jakarta government announced it would step up military operations in the conflict-ridden territory.

Exxon Mobil announced the temporary shut-down of operations in Aceh on March 9th.