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Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001

Biotech companies have formed powerful alliances with multilateral development banks, UN agencies, Northern governments, research institutes, large funding organisations and 'independent' agencies to promote biotech agriculture and GM seeds in developing countries.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The Wahid government is making last-minute efforts to comply with demands for forest reform agreed last year with its international creditors. Many NGOs feel these efforts will not be enough to stop the rampant destruction in Indonesia's forests. They suspect that the reform process is being driven by the priorities of the creditors who want conservation and "sustainable" management, but also debt repayment.

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001


A new NGO report has drawn attention to the role of export credit lending agencies in pulp and paper mills and other projects in Indonesia, which have led to increased deforestation and abuse of people's rights.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The shooting of demonstrators, killings in police detention and increased military presence are making the prospects for peace in West Papua even more remote.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The US-based oil company Caltex Pacific Indonesia has called in the international security firm, Group 4, to deal with problems at its conflict-ridden oil operations in Riau province, Sumatra.

Caltex, a joint venture between Texaco and Chevron, is Indonesia's biggest oil producer, with a current output of around 690,000 barrels per day.

During the past months the company's operations have been hit by strikes, protests over land, employment and environmental impacts (see DTE 48).

In late Febr

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001


The government's plan to expand oil palm plantations could founder because it fails to address the underlying question of community rights to farmland and forests.

Oil palm remains a central plank of Indonesia's economic recovery strategy despite growing social unrest arising from disputes over plantation land.

A briefing, DTE, April 2001

Read the PDF document here.

The certification of timber and forest products is intended to change forest management for the better through global timber markets. This form of ‘ecolabelling’ was initiated by conservationists and consumers in the North, where a market has been created for sustainably produced timber. Schemes are gradually being adopted in the South, although producers in the South are in a weaker position.