Indigenous Peoples

Down to Earth No 59  November 2003


The Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) held its second congress in Lombok in September. The five-day Congress was attended by around 500 indigenous delegates from across Indonesia and West Papua plus several hundred members of local indigenous groups and supporting NGOs, academics and representatives of government agencies. The themes discussed included recognition of land and resource rights, respect for indigenous beliefs and practices and adat self-governance.

Down to Earth No 59 November 2003


A massive landslide at Freeport/Rio Tinto's huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in West Papua, which killed eight people and injured another five, has sparked angry protests.

The fatal accident happened early on October 9th, when part of the southern wall of the vast open-pit mine collapsed, and 2.3 million tonnes of rock and mud crashed down, engulfing mineworkers and heavy machinery.

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003


Indonesia is being pushed by powerful mining multinationals to open up protected forests for mining, but the international campaign to prevent yet more forest destruction is gaining momentum.

A final decision on whether or not companies can mine in Indonesia's protected forests - putting at risk some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world - is expected to be issued by Indonesia's parliament soon.

An Indonesian NGO coalition, led by mining advocacy network, JATAM, is campaigning to ma

Down to Earth No 57  May 2003


The world's largest mining company, Rio Tinto, has faced severe criticism on human rights, the environment, health & safety and pay & conditions. The company's dismal record in Indonesia has been spotlighted in a new report by WALHI, published to coincide with the company's annual general meetings.

Rio Tinto's annual general meetings in London and Perth sparked co-ordinated protest actions in Indonesia, Australia and Britain.

Down to Earth No 57 May 2003

Two studies commissioned by BP have highlighted serious concerns over the impact of the planned Tangguh gas project in West Papua.

BP has announced the findings of two studies it commissioned to examine the potential impacts of the Tangguh gas project in Bintuni Bay, West Papua, on human rights, local communities and the environment.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

The severely damaging impacts of mining on women have been highlighted in a new report, launched by Oxfam Community Aid Abroad on November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Oxfam Community Aid's report, Tunnel Vision: Women, Mining and Communities, is a compilation of papers presented at a forum convened in Melbourne in June last year to explore the impacts of mining on women in local communities.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights abuses connected to the logging industry will increase in West Papua as more forests are destroyed and the Indonesian security forces continue their business activities in a climate of impunity.

In July 2002, West Papuan human rights group ELSHAM reported a series of logging-related human rights abuses committed between February and June 2002 by members of the Indonesian armed forces stationed in sub-districts around Jayapura.