Coastal communities and fisheries

Down to Earth No.80-81, June 2009

The first World Oceans Conference in Manado, North Sulawesi, was the scene of a police clamp-down on civil society in May, when two leading members of WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) were arrested and sixteen other people were deported. Parallel CSO activities had been organised to highlight the need to recognise and protect the rights of small-scale fisherfolk in international marine negotiations.

Down to Earth No.79, November 2008


Following years of opposition from environmental and human rights groups, BHP Billiton has decided not to go ahead with a proposed nickel mining project on Gag Island, West Papua. BHP Billiton has reportedly invested US$75 million in developing this project over the last decade or more.


The decision to pull out of the Gag Island nickel project follows closely two company annual general meetings in the UK and Australia.

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

The Toka Tindung gold mine project is now in doubt after strong opposition to Meares Soputan Mining's plans to build an open pit gold mine in a sensitive coastal area and dump mine waste into Rinondoran Bay.

A major blow came when an environmental hearing in August 2006 forced the company to alter its plans to instead use the more expensive option of disposal of tailings on land.

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 66  August 2005

Indigenous peoples are calling for land security to be included in the post-tsunami rehabilitation programme, and for the involvement of indigenous peoples, including women.

Presenting a statement to the May session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN in New York, the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) and the Acehnese indigenous network JKMA, repo

Down to Earth No 64  2005


Fisherfolk in Aceh are particularly vulnerable in the process of Aceh's recovery and reconstruction. They lived in coastal communities that were worst hit by the disaster. Many were poor and used to live very traditional lifestyles. Typically, their homes were small thatched huts close to the seashore. Their whole way of life was completely dependent on local marine resources. This was basically subsistence-level fishing.