Laws & regulations

Down to Earth No. 73, May 2007


The decision of a North Sulawesi court to find the US-based mining company, Newmont, not guilty of polluting the environment is a huge disappointment for NGOs and communities who have been struggling for years to hold this multinational gold mining company to account.


The Manado Court in North Sulawesi - the province where the now-closed Ratatotok gold mine was located - came up with its verdict on April 24th.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

More than 5 years since the MPR Decree IX/2001 was passed (see DTE 52), it seems that agrarian reform is eventually going to see the light of the day. In his postponed New Year State Address at the end of January, President Yudhoyono announced that the long overdue Agrarian Reform Program or PPAN, will take place in 2007, adhering to principle 'Land for justice and welfare of the people'.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

The arrival of heavy monsoon rains in Java has made life even more miserable for the thousands of people affected by the East Java mudflow disaster (see DTE 71). The Sidoardjo mudflow, referred to in Indonesian as 'Lumpur Sidoardjo', or simply 'Lusi', which first erupted in May 2006, continues unabated. It has displaced thousands of people, yet, despite overwhelming evidence of criminal negligence, the government has not taken legal action over the disaster.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

The Toka Tindung gold mine project is now in doubt after strong opposition to Meares Soputan Mining's plans to build an open pit gold mine in a sensitive coastal area and dump mine waste into Rinondoran Bay.

A major blow came when an environmental hearing in August 2006 forced the company to alter its plans to instead use the more expensive option of disposal of tailings on land.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

Two significant changes to national regulations on mining are due to affect the mining industry in Indonesia. The mining minister, Simon Sembiring, said recently that the Indonesian government was intending to approve laws to ensure that more of the mineral resources mined in Indonesia will be processed within Indonesia rather than be shipped abroad. As well as this, new laws are due to come into force in early 2007 that will strengthen the role of regional governments in assigning and approving mining contracts in their regions.

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006


The following account is by a member of DTE staff who attended the recent national forestry congress in Jakarta.

The fourth Indonesian Forestry Congress was held in the Forestry Department Building, Manggala Wanabakti, in Jakarta on 13-15 September 2006. The theme was 'From Crisis to Resurgence: Repositioning Indonesian Forestry', and the congress was opened by vice-president Yusuf Kalla.