Foreign investment

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

August 5th saw the opening of the Indonesian government's first ever pollution case against a major mining company.

Down to Earth No 67  November 2005

This article, contributed by YL Franky of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), highlights ongoing protests against Inco, the Canadian-owned nickel mine at Sorowako, South Sulawesi.

Indigenous people affected by Inco's mining in Sorowako*, mineworkers, students and NGOs who have formed the Mine Victims' Solidarity Forum (FSMT), mounted a four-day occupation of the company's regional office in Makassar, South Sulawesi, from September 15 - 19th.

On 12 September, the FSMT

Down to Earth No 63  November 2004


The latest and most comprehensive government-sponsored study into pollution at Newmont's gold mine in North Sulawesi, has linked the US-based company's mining activities to ill-health in the local community and declining fish stocks in Buyat Bay.

Down to Earth No 62  August 2004

NGOs in Indonesia have worked hard to convince their government that it should do more to protect farmers and consumers from the risks of genetically modified crops. Now their efforts have borne fruit.

Indonesia's parliament began the process to ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in July 2004 - a move that should ensure greater protection against the potential negative impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Down to Earth No 62   August 2004

Community holds Newmont to account
Villagers from Buyat Bay, North Sulawesi have lodged complaints with the police over the devastating health impacts of Newmont Minahasa Raya's gold mine. At least 30 people are believed to have died as a result of the heavy metal pollution caused by the mine, which dumps tailings on the sea-bed.

Down to Earth No. 61, May 2004

The government of President Megawati has caved in to pressure from international mining companies to allow open-pit mining in protected forests, paving the way for yet more forest destruction and marginalisation of forest-dependent communities.

The go-ahead for mining in protected forests came on March 11, with a new Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perpu) No. 1/2004 on Changes to Law No. 41 of 1999 on Forestry. The regulation adds two extra paragraphs (83A and 83B) to the 1999 law.

Down to Earth No. 58, August 2003


Meanwhile, the need to bring about fundamental reform is not addressed.

The international environmental campaigning NGO Greenpeace believes that Indonesia has the world's highest rate of forest loss. Even Indonesian government ministers now admit publicly that deforestation in the country is out of control. "While we might still be having problems with environmental issues like flooding, forest fires and pollution, we nevertheless think we can find a way out.