DTE 93-94, December 2012

In this article we highlight some of the influences at work inside Indonesia which are contributing to the ongoing transfer of land from communities to corporations. These influences include national and local government policies, laws, governance and practices, whose provisions for supporting indigenous peoples and communities’ rights and livelihoods have been deprioritised in favour of large-scale, commercial ‘development’ projects. The result is a growing disparity between rich and poor, worsening imbalance in the control over agrarian resources and more and more conflicts between communities, private sector and the state.

Down to Earth No.80-81, June 2009

In January 2009 DTE marked its 20th birthday by inviting friends to a gathering in Bogor. On the same occasion we launched an Indonesian language compilation of climate change articles taken from recent DTE newsletters. The following review of our activities was published as the introduction to that book.

Down to Earth No 61 May 2004

A recent visit by DTE staff to South Sumatra illustrates the realities of Indonesia's deforestation and the tensions between local communities and the authorities over the use of 'forest lands' in a rapidly changing environment

"Why are you going to South Sumatra to find out about sustainable forest use? There is no forest there!", said people in Jakarta. Even in the provincial capital, Palembang, staff at the South Sumatra branch of the environmental NGO WALHI were gloomy.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

NGO to sue Singapore over sand imports

The Institute of Indonesian Forestry Studies, an organisation based in Riau province, is planning to charge Singapore with destroying the marine environment and mangrove forests as well as causing the disappearance of an island in Karimun subdistrict. The Institute's director, Andreas Herykahurifan, said the Riau administration must also bear responsibility because it had issued licences to sand-dredging companies.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

The following is translated from 'Patih 'Pak Garang' Laman', an article by Edi Petebang, Kalimantan Review no. 55/March 2000

Patih Laman is a traditional leader of a Talang Mamak community - an indigenous people who live in the forests of Riau and Jambi, Sumatra. Some, but not all of the Talang Mamak's customary forests lie within Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park. The Talang Mamak follow a traditional way of life, practising rotational use of the forests.

Down to Earth No 52, February 2002

Gunung Leuser, one of the largest protected areas of rainforest remaining in SE Asia, is threatened by local political and economic vested interests.

The 850,000 hectares of tropical rainforest which make up Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the last places in Indonesia where the increasingly endangered Sumatran rhinos, tigers, elephants and orangutans all occur.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


Despite a poor social and environmental record across the globe, commercial aquaculture - intensive fish-farming - is still regarded as having a bright future in Indonesia. According to former marine affairs minister Sarwono, of Indonesia's total fish production, 82% is from capture fisheries. "We need to push for aquaculture to boost fish production" he told a March workshop.