Indonesia

Indonesia has great natural wealth but many of its citizens live in extreme poverty. Democratic progress has been made since the resigation of former president Suharto in 1998, but many civil society organisations feel that far too little progress has been made towards sustainable management of the country's resources, and ensuring that Indonesia's diverse communities have a real say in decisions which affect their future.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Natural resources are one of the main factors underlying the independence struggle in Aceh, but decades of plunder have left them severely depleted.

The brutal murder of the internationally known Acehnese human rights activist, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, reminded the world in September that the northern-most tip of Sumatra remains a dangerous place. Despite a 'humanitarian pause' signed by Indonesia and Acehnese independence leaders in June this year, the murders, disappearances and torture have continued.

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

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 43, November 1999

Important new forestry legislation was forced through parliament in the final weeks of Habibie's interim regime. According to forest campaigners and indigenous rights activists, the Forestry Act (No. 41 1999) is no advance in terms of protecting Indonesia's forests or forest peoples over the 1967 Basic Forestry Law it replaces.

Down to Earth No. 42, August 1999

East Timor's forests and agricultural lands have suffered extensive damage during the Indonesian occupation. Restoring the environment and setting the country on a development path that is economically viable, socially just and environmentally sustainable will be one of the many formidable challenges facing the government of an independent East Timor.

Down to Earth No. 42, August 1999

A long-running land dispute between oil palm plantation company PT London Sumatra and indigenous Dayak landowners has resulted in large-scale military and police repression in East Kalimantan.

Down to Earth No. 41, May 1999

Farmers, workers, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk, NGOs, students and academics are coming together to formulate people-centred, environmentally sound development strategies to replace the obsolete, bankrupt and abusive money-centred practices of the Suharto era.