Land and food security

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


Shrimp exports from developing countries - including Indonesia - are bringing foreign exchange earnings to exporter governments and profits to entrepreneurs. But the real price is being paid by communities whose coastal resources are wrecked both by commercial shrimp farms and shrimp trawling.

Forestry Minister Prakosa warned in May this year against the total destruction of mangrove forests in Indonesia. He said that strong determination and commitment was required to prevent further damage.

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 56  February 2003


NGO to sue Singapore over sand imports

The Institute of Indonesian Forestry Studies, an organisation based in Riau province, is planning to charge Singapore with destroying the marine environment and mangrove forests as well as causing the disappearance of an island in Karimun subdistrict. The Institute's director, Andreas Herykahurifan, said the Riau administration must also bear responsibility because it had issued licences to sand-dredging companies.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights abuses connected to the logging industry will increase in West Papua as more forests are destroyed and the Indonesian security forces continue their business activities in a climate of impunity.

In July 2002, West Papuan human rights group ELSHAM reported a series of logging-related human rights abuses committed between February and June 2002 by members of the Indonesian armed forces stationed in sub-districts around Jayapura.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

Kotopanjang dam victims to get compensation?

Over four thousand families forced to resettle on barren land due to a Japan-funded dam have become "developmental refugees" according to a Japanese newspaper report. The Kotopanjang dam in Riau, Sumatra was built on protected forest and the adat (customary) land of local communities in 1997 at a cost of 36.4 billion Yen, almost all of which was a Japanese government loan.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


NGOs in Manokwari, West Papua, have called for activities at BP's Tangguh gas project to be suspended, following a day-long occupation of the project's base-camp in May. The question of security and military or police intervention at the project site remains a major concern.

Around 50 villagers from Saengga village blockaded BP's Tangguh project base-camp in May, forcing the suspension of activities.