Land and food security

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

This is a summary of an interview with a representative of Kampuh village, Bunti subdistrict, Sanggau, West Kalimantan - a community which has been affected by the oil palm company PT MAS II.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

The following account was compiled by Erma Ranik of the West Kalimantan NGO, PENA.

A palm oil company, PT Airlangga Sawit Jaya, has admitted fault and has paid compensation amounting to Rp274,366,000 (USD30,485) to the Engkadik Pade indigenous community, in Landak, West Kalimantan.

The case began in May 2006, when PT Airlangga Sawit Jaya held a meeting in Engkadik village, Serimbu subdistrict, with several local government officials.

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

NGOs are campaigning against the adoption by the European Union of mandatory biofuel targets, a move that will prompt the further expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, more appropriation of indigenous lands, more forest loss, and, ironically, higher carbon emissions.

Hundreds of NGOs worldwide, and thousands of individuals have called on European Union (EU) politicians to say 'no' to biofuel targets when they decide on the issue in early March.

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

Zulfahmi, former director of Riau NGO forest network Jikalahari, is a member of Sawit Watch and has attended several meetings of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), including the latest (RT4) in Singapore, last November.