Laws & regulations

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

With major new oil and gas developments planned for Sulawesi, there is growing concern about the likely impacts on local livelihoods, forests, rare wildlife and the fragile marine ecosystem.

Central Sulawesi is being billed as Indonesia's next big gas producer by Indonesian companies with exploration projects in the province. Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company, Pertamina, and Exspan Tomori Sulawesi - a subsidiary of Medco (see box) - say the province has huge potential for natural gas exploitation.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


The Indonesian government is close to approving the resumption of open-pit mining in protected forests - a move that is likely to speed up deforestation and the impoverishment of indigenous peoples.

Six mining companies will be the first to get approval from Jakarta to resume mining operations in protected forests, according to Indonesian press reports. The move is being vigorously opposed by civil society groups.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Peasant farmers across Indonesia are protesting against government policies which deprive them of land and livelihood. They are demanding a new, pro-poor approach to national development which promotes peasants' rights. In the meantime, violence and intimidation of peasants involved in land disputes continues.

Hundreds of peasant farmers from West Java tore down the gates to Indonesia's national parliament in Jakarta in September, during a protest to mark Farmers Day 2002.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Communities who depend upon coastal resources for their livelihoods are being pushed aside - sometimes by violent means - as entrepreneurs rush to maximise profits from the seas.

Down to Earth No. 51, November 2001


The prospect of widespread planting of genetically modified crops in Indonesia is causing alarm.

In September, 72 Indonesian NGOs grouped under the NGO Coalition for Biosafety and Food Safety lost their legal challenge against the Indonesian minister for agriculture, Bungaran Saragih, and PT Monagro, the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based biotechnology multinational, Monsanto. The NGO court case was aimed at annulling an agriculture ministry decree issued February 2001 (No.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Stop Exxon Mobil! Free Kautsar!

The Aceh Community Democratic Resistance Front (FPDRA) is circulating a petition to free an Acehnese activist detained for speaking out against the US-based oil and gas multinational, Exxon Mobil. The petition also calls for a halt to Exxon's operations in Aceh.

Kautsar was arrested on July 11th by the local Aceh police force when he was on his way to a demonstration organised by a coalition of 13 organizations known as KARA (Aceh Community Action Coalition).

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Indonesian NGOs objecting to a government decree allowing the planting of Monsanto's GM cotton are taking the agriculture minister to court in an attempt to have the decree annulled.

The NGO Coalition for Biosafety and Food Safety has launched a court action to annul Decree No. 107/2001 which allows the limited release of genetically modified cotton in South Sulawesi province.