Land and food security

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006


Thousands of people have been forced from their homes since May 29th, when hot mud started spurting from the ground near a gas exploration well in Sidoardjo, East Java. Over the following weeks, villages were submerged, farmland was ruined, businesses and schools closed and livelihoods lost, as the mud inundated the surrounding area. The government has done little to help, although the mud continues to flow, perhaps because the company responsible was owned by a senior member of the government.

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006


The following account is by a member of DTE's staff who visited Sidoardjo in October.


Disasters can become tourist attractions and that's what has happened at the Sidoardjo mudflow in East Java.

The hot mud, which has now inundated the villages of Siring, Jatirejo, Renolenongo, Kedungbendo, Mindi, Kedungcangkring, Besuki and Pejarakan, has been turned into a new source of livelihood by some local people.

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006

Indigenous peoples are trying to restrict the expansion of large-scale oil palm plantations in Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries This article was written by Mina S. Setra of the West Kalimantan Indigenous Peoples' Alliance (AMA Kalbar), following her visit to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples in New York earlier this year.


This year has been important for indigenous peoples all over the world.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Villagers and NGOs are trying to stop a British-registered company developing a gold mine which could drastically affect the livelihoods of fisherfolk living in Rinondoran Bay, North Sulawesi.

Protests in Jakarta by community representatives from North Sulawesi against gold mining and its impacts on the marine environment, livelihoods and human health: the words 'Newmont', 'Buyat Bay' and 'STD' quickly spring to mind.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Questions are being raised over a World Bank-funded land titling project in post-tsunami Aceh.

Securing land tenure has become one of the priorities in the reconstruction of Aceh, post-tsunami. More than half a million affected people have had to endure changes to the landscape and have been left without evidence of their property rights. According to the national land agency, BPN, approximately 300,000 land parcels have been affected by the tsunami.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Afnawi Noeh, popularly known as Abah Nawi, leader of the indigenous community organisation BPRPI, died in February 2006 aged 69. He and his family had been fighting for land rights recognition for peasant farmers in North Sumatra for over 50 years.

Abah was a leading member in Indonesia's indigenous movement, attending AMAN's inaugural conference in 1999 and becoming a Council member. BPRPI currently acts as AMAN's secretariat in North Sumatra.

Down to Earth No 68  February 2006

Pak Cion Alexander is a peasant farmer who also has a law degree and is a community activist in the organisation Gerakan Rakyat Pemberdayaan Kampung (GRPK). He comes from Sanggau, West Kalimantan and attended the third RSPO meeting in Singapore.