Regional autonomy

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Separate special autonomy laws have now been passed for Aceh and West Papua. The laws were originally designed to offer something over and above the 'normal' autonomy now being implemented in other regions. The aim was to undermine independence movements wanting complete separation from Indonesia by granting local populations a greater measure of self-government.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

WALHI, Indonesia's leading environmental organisation, has scored a landmark victory in its court case against copper and gold miners PT Freeport Indonesia, operators of the huge Grasberg mine in West Papua. Meanwhile, militarisation is being intensified at the mine, as the Indonesian security forces pledge to protect it from alleged threats from "separatist groups".

On August 28th the South Jakarta District Court declared Freeport guilty of violating Indonesian environmental law (No. 23, 1997).

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

The campaign to stop illegal logging has become a key focus for Indonesia's new forestry minister, but the problem is immense and can only be properly tackled, say NGOs, by a complete overhaul of forest management in Indonesia.

Illegal logging has reached unprecedented levels in post-Suharto Indonesia, with up to 56.6 million cubic metres of logs being felled without permits each year.

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 government's plan to expand oil palm plantations could founder because it fails to address the underlying question of community rights to farmland and forests.

Oil palm remains a central plank of Indonesia's economic recovery strategy despite growing social unrest arising from disputes over plantation land.