Laws & regulations

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

After a year of negotiations and pressure from Indonesian and international civil society groups, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) accepted the Principles & Criteria drafted by its working group at its meeting in Singapore on 22 - 23 November 2005.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

As part of the international campaign to crack down on illegal logging, stop forest destruction and eliminate timber smuggling, the Indonesian government has been pressed to agree a definition of what is and isn't 'legal' in Indonesia's forests.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

New measures to promote fastwood plantations

Forestry minister Kaban has issued five new measures aimed at reducing illegal logging and reviving the timber industry. These support his policy announcement made in July about speeding up the establishment of fastwood plantations to supply the country's pulp and paper plants. Foreign companies will now be allowed to invest in timber plantations.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

Police open fire on farmers in Lombok

Indonesian human rights NGO Elsam has protested against the police shooting of farmers attending a national meeting in Lombok. Twenty seven people suffered gunshot injuries on September 18th when police dispersed a farmers' union general assembly organised by the Nusa Tenggara Barat union and the Federation of Indonesian Farmers Unions (FSPI). Eight people were detained at the meeting, which was attended by farmers' representatives from 26 countries.

Down to Earth No 62 August 2004

Efforts to secure protection for local communities under a new timber trade standard may be undermined by an emergency decree on illegal logging.

In 2002, the Indonesian and British governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combat illegal logging and the illegal timber trade.

Down to Earth No 62   August 2004

Community holds Newmont to account
Villagers from Buyat Bay, North Sulawesi have lodged complaints with the police over the devastating health impacts of Newmont Minahasa Raya's gold mine. At least 30 people are believed to have died as a result of the heavy metal pollution caused by the mine, which dumps tailings on the sea-bed.

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