Human rights

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

A crisis in the oil palm industry is making a mockery of predictions that exports of the crop will help haul Indonesia out of its economic woes.

Export orders for Indonesian palm oil products fell sharply when the first shipment of palm oil, contaminated with diesel oil, was rejected by buyers in the Netherlands in October last year.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

Companies which have profited from Indonesia's iron-fisted rule in West Papua, may be starting to feel jittery as calls for independence grow more insistent.

On December 1st last year celebrations took place in towns all over West Papua to mark the 38th anniversary of independence, declared when the territory was still under Dutch rule.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

Community anger is being directed at the newly completed plant in South Sumatra

The PT TEL paper pulp factory at Muara Enim, South Sumatra was completed in November 1999 and started production trials in December with a view to full production by January 2000.

Down to Earth No. 44 February 2000

With the release of new maps and data on forest cover (or the lack of it) in Indonesia, the Jakarta government is having to face up to the country's rapid deforestation rate. International donors are pressing Wahid's government to take action now to stop illegal logging and to draw up a coherent medium-term national forestry programme.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

Although it is only three months since President Wahid's government took office, it is becoming clear that foreign investment is the top priority.

Down to Earth No 43, November 1999


The push for an independent West Papua is gaining strength: mass protests met the government's decision to split the territory into three provinces and the vote in East Timor fuelled demands for independence.

Down to Earth No. 43, November 1999

Indonesia's new democratic government led by President Abdurrahman Wahid has inherited many serious problems from its predecessors, not least the crisis in natural resources and the plight of millions of rural and indigenous peoples who depend upon them.