Regional autonomy

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 68  February 2006

Pak Cion Alexander is a peasant farmer who also has a law degree and is a community activist in the organisation Gerakan Rakyat Pemberdayaan Kampung (GRPK). He comes from Sanggau, West Kalimantan and attended the third RSPO meeting in Singapore.

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 67  November 2005

Four leading Indonesian NGOs organised a workshop and seminar in early October on the policy implications of natural resource exploitation in Kalimantan. The meeting was attended by representatives of various communities affected by large-scale plantation and mining projects plus 21 NGOs from Kalimantan and 2 from Sarawak.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

Police open fire on farmers in Lombok

Indonesian human rights NGO Elsam has protested against the police shooting of farmers attending a national meeting in Lombok. Twenty seven people suffered gunshot injuries on September 18th when police dispersed a farmers' union general assembly organised by the Nusa Tenggara Barat union and the Federation of Indonesian Farmers Unions (FSPI). Eight people were detained at the meeting, which was attended by farmers' representatives from 26 countries.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

In February 2004, DTE took a detailed look at BP's controversial gas project in Bintuni Bay, West Papua. One year on, we ask how far concerns over human rights, security and local people's rights have been addressed.

The Tangguh gas extraction and liquid natural gas (LNG) installation in the Bird's Head region of West Papua got the final go-ahead from BP on March 7th. As a result, the area will experience massive social, environmental and economic changes.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

Status of the project

The 'final investment decision' to proceed with Tangguh came on March 7th, after many delays. The construction phase of the US$5 billion project is now expected to start in late 2005. Tangguh will be operational in 2008, with two full gas production units or 'trains' (Reuters7/Mar/05, TIAP 2004).