Foreign investment

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001


As huge oil and gas developments continue in Indonesia, communities in areas where these industries operate are becoming more vocal in demanding a stop to pollution and fair compensation.

Communities in Riau, East Kalimantan, Aceh, and Java are engaged in an unequal struggle with some of the world's most powerful transnational companies.

Down to Earth No 48 February 2001

CIFOR researcher's body found in Aceh mass grave

A mass grave, containing 14 bodies was uncovered in Terbangan, Kluet Selatan, South Aceh in January. One has been identified as a researcher with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Bandung.

Three young researchers from CIFOR and a member of the Gunung Leuser national park management, disappeared in September 1999. The corpses of three women from Medan in neighbouring North Sumatra province were also found in the grave.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000


The past months have seen unprecedented direct action by local people and mine workers protesting against injustice at Rio Tinto's PT KEM and Kaltim Prima mines.

In April and May this year, Rio Tinto's Kelian gold mine was forced to shut down after negotiations with local community representatives were broken off. Hundreds of Dayak villagers blockaded access to the mine, preventing supplies of lime (used to treat acid waste) and diesel fuel oil getting through to the mine site on the Kelian river.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Twenty three people were injured when police moved in to break up a protest blockade at Unocal's oil and gas terminal in East Kalimantan.

Seven protesters were injured by bullet wounds and a further sixteen were seriously injured when beaten and kicked by police, who broke up the protest on October 8th.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000


There has been further conflict at indigenous mining lands inside the PT Indo Muro Kencana gold concession operated by Australia's Aurora Gold in Central Kalimantan.

Families from the local Dayak Siang, Murung and Bekumpai communities were hauled out of their beds and forced onto trucks by heavily armed mobile brigade police forces early on June 7th. Their possessions were thrown on the ground, their homes were then torn down and fifteen people were arrested.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

Another major obstacle to the sustainable management of natural resources is the continuing prominence of the military in many regions. Its continued high profile role from province to village level means that it is a potent threat to the success of regional autonomy, where 'success' means managing local resources sustainably, sharing benefits equitably and respecting human rights.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

Indigenous communities whose forests have been plundered by logging companies are demanding compensation for the damage. Deprived of the protection they enjoyed under former President Suharto, the companies are having to take them seriously.