Water and dams

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002

A new road system will cut across the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, despite fears that it will increase forest destruction in the Leuser Ecosystem.

Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam governor, Abdullah Puteh, revived plans for a network of roads in October 2001 (See DTE 52). The Rp1.5 trillion (US$150 million) project is called the Ladia Galaska: an acronym of the route from the Indian Ocean to the Malacca Straits (Lautan Hindia Gayo Alas Selat Malaka).

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

June's preparatory meeting in Bali for the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (PrepCom IV -WSSD) ended in deadlock with a draft Plan of Action still full of disputed text.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

Kotopanjang dam victims to get compensation?

Over four thousand families forced to resettle on barren land due to a Japan-funded dam have become "developmental refugees" according to a Japanese newspaper report. The Kotopanjang dam in Riau, Sumatra was built on protected forest and the adat (customary) land of local communities in 1997 at a cost of 36.4 billion Yen, almost all of which was a Japanese government loan.

Down to Earth No 52, February 2002


West Papua will not receive Freeport's corporate tax

Last minute changes in the Special Autonomy Law have denied West Papua a share of Freeport's corporate taxes - the largest chunk of annual payments - according to The Far Eastern Economic Review. The Review says that BP will end up pumping more money into West Papua's coffers than Freeport, which has been paying Jakarta an average of $180 million a year in taxes and royalties.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Indigenous peoples in the Mamberamo region of West Papua are calling for the 7.7 million hectare Mamberamo mega-project to be stopped.

The Mamberamo project, announced in the 1990s by former President Habibie when he was minister for research and technology, includes the construction of hydro-dams which will permanently affect the fragile ecosystem of the mangrove swamps downstream.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001

An eco-disaster in the making, the Mamberamo mega-project is to go ahead soon, according to Indonesian government officials. The first stage of the project will go ahead after the implementation of 'special autonomy' and will be jointly managed by foreign investors, through the Jakarta and provincial administration, according to Dance Flassy, head of Development of Irian Jayan Autonomy.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

Villagers in South Sumatra have successfully regained some of their forest which the government had allocated as a plantation concession to PT Musi Hutan Persada (PT MHP). The Department of Forestry and Plantations has agreed to hand 12,050 ha back to the former inhabitants of 12 villages in the sub-district of Rambang Lubai.