Land and food security

Down to Earth No 78  August 2008

Plans to push ahead with oil palm expansion in Papua have run into opposition from local people.

Down to Earth No. 76-77 May 2008

Concerns about food security worldwide are growing as rice prices have more than doubled in many countries over the last year and global rice stocks are the lowest for decades. Meanwhile the Indonesian government needs to consider how to increase rice production and to protect the food supplies of the poor.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization voiced concern when international rice prices rocketed to a 20-year high in late March with the global benchmark price at over US$500 per tonne.

Down to Earth No. 76-77 May 2008

A year after we reported on Indonesian government plans to launch agrarian reform based on the Basic Agrarian Law 1960 (BAL), the regulation on how the reform will be implemented remains a draft. The non-action reflects the fate of the BAL itself. This law, championed mainly by peasants and nationalist groups, has been dormant since its birth.

Down to Earth No. 76-77 May 2008

This report is based on information from a field visit by DTE staff to Meratus in 2008, and from the South Kalimantan based NGO, LPMA

For indigenous peoples like the Meratus Dayak of South Kalimantan, farming is not only a means to obtain food, but also forms part of the customary (adat) rituals that have been passed down the generations.

Down to Earth No.76-77 May 2008

Communities in West Kalimantan, supported by national and international NGOs, have taken the unprecedented step of challenging the environmentally and socially damaging impacts of the world's largest palm oil company, using the World Bank Group's official complaints procedure.

Down to Earth No.75, November 2007


Large areas of Papua's rich and diverse forests are being targeted by Indonesian and overseas investors for conversion into oil palm plantations. At the same time, discussions are in progress to reserve large areas of Papua's forest to generate carbon credits for trade on international markets.

Down to Earth No.75, November 2007


Aceh's new government is promoting the expansion of oil palm plantations in the province as 'in the interests of the people', but it is by no means clear that local communities will be the main beneficiaries.


A report by the independent research organisation Eye on Aceh examines the growth of oil palm plantations in Aceh and the social, environmental and economic costs of this agribusiness. The Golden Crop?