Forests & forest fires

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

As part of the international campaign to crack down on illegal logging, stop forest destruction and eliminate timber smuggling, the Indonesian government has been pressed to agree a definition of what is and isn't 'legal' in Indonesia's forests.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

Construction work has started at a wood chip mill on Laut Island, South Kalimantan. It is part of a planned development of the pulp and paper industry in the province which threatens to destroy forests and impoverish local communities.

The new chip mill, which will have the capacity to produce 700,000 tonnes of wood chips, is being built by PT Mangium Anugrah Lestari (PT MAL) on Pulau Laut - a large island off the southeast coast of South Kalimantan province.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

Police open fire on farmers in Lombok

Indonesian human rights NGO Elsam has protested against the police shooting of farmers attending a national meeting in Lombok. Twenty seven people suffered gunshot injuries on September 18th when police dispersed a farmers' union general assembly organised by the Nusa Tenggara Barat union and the Federation of Indonesian Farmers Unions (FSPI). Eight people were detained at the meeting, which was attended by farmers' representatives from 26 countries.

Down to Earth No 66  August 2005

Campaigners against mining in protected forests were disappointed in July, when Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled in favour of mining companies. Nevertheless, foreign multinationals have not got it all their own way.

Indonesia's Constitutional Court, established less than two years ago, was welcomed by many who hoped it could put an end to the arbitrary exercise of executive power.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

An NGO report shows how West Papua's rich, extensive forests are being stripped to satisfy China's demand for timber. The Indonesia government, keen to demonstrate to the international community that it is taking illegal logging and timber smuggling seriously, responded by promising action against corrupt military, police and forestry personnel.

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

In an attempt to save forests and livelihoods, environmentalists have sought a judicial review of the government's 2004 decision to permit mining in protected areas.

The NGOs and individuals challenging the government on its pro-industry mining policy are focussing on the negative environmental, social and economic impacts.

Down to Earth No 62  August 2004

The burning season started early in Sumatra this year, but Jakarta has been too preoccupied with the elections to take action on forest fires.

Thick smoke blanketed parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan for several days during June and July, resulting in the now familiar symptoms of delayed flights and the authorities handing out face masks.