Forests & forest fires

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003


Aceh's civilian population is being worst affected by the war in Aceh. The threat of famine looms as food security is severely undermined by the conflict.

Indonesia launched its all-out war in Aceh after declaring martial law on May 19th, following the breakdown of the most promising peace initiative for many years. With 50,000 troops due to be sent to the territory, this is Indonesia's biggest military operation in Aceh - and its biggest operation anywhere since the invasion of East Timor in 1974.

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003


Indonesia is being pushed by powerful mining multinationals to open up protected forests for mining, but the international campaign to prevent yet more forest destruction is gaining momentum.

A final decision on whether or not companies can mine in Indonesia's protected forests - putting at risk some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world - is expected to be issued by Indonesia's parliament soon.

An Indonesian NGO coalition, led by mining advocacy network, JATAM, is campaigning to ma

Down to Earth No. 57, May 2003

 

Earth Day protests against TPL Sumatra pulp plant

April the 22nd - Earth Day - saw more protests against the Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) plant (formerly Indorayon) which was reopened earlier this year. Environmental organisation WALHI, plus a host of national and local NGOs and community groups, dedicated the events to the people and environmental campaigners of Porsea, who have long suffered from the mill's pollution.

Down to Earth No 57  May 2003


The world's largest mining company, Rio Tinto, has faced severe criticism on human rights, the environment, health & safety and pay & conditions. The company's dismal record in Indonesia has been spotlighted in a new report by WALHI, published to coincide with the company's annual general meetings.

Rio Tinto's annual general meetings in London and Perth sparked co-ordinated protest actions in Indonesia, Australia and Britain.

Down to Earth No 57 May 2003

  • The minister of forestry, Mohammad Prakosa, has revoked the licenses of two plywood manufacturers - PT Wana Rimba Kencana in East Kalimantan and PT Benua Indah in West Kalimantan - following inspection by the Revitalisation of Forestry Sector Industries Task Force - a new ministry watchdog. The forestry minister also refused to extend the logging licences of 13 companies, but would not release their names.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

With major new oil and gas developments planned for Sulawesi, there is growing concern about the likely impacts on local livelihoods, forests, rare wildlife and the fragile marine ecosystem.

Central Sulawesi is being billed as Indonesia's next big gas producer by Indonesian companies with exploration projects in the province. Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company, Pertamina, and Exspan Tomori Sulawesi - a subsidiary of Medco (see box) - say the province has huge potential for natural gas exploitation.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


The efforts of UK-based mining company Rio Tinto to convince the world of its commitment to human rights have suffered another blow. According to media reports, in December, the family of human rights defender and poet Wiji Thukul rejected a human rights award funded by the company. For the past two years, Rio Tinto has contributed funds to the Yap Thiam Hien Human Rights Award, won this year by Wiji Thukul, who has been missing since 1996.