Sumatra

 

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


Floods which have swept through Indragiri Hulu and Pelalawan have been blamed on deforestation in water catchments of the two districts in Riau. "So far, the rainfall is normal", the head of the local meteorology office told reporters. "Yet the rainfall, together with the…plundering of the forests in the province, has worsened the flood which was basically caused by the overflowing of the Kotopanjang reservoir in Kampar", he said.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


NGO to sue Singapore over sand imports

The Institute of Indonesian Forestry Studies, an organisation based in Riau province, is planning to charge Singapore with destroying the marine environment and mangrove forests as well as causing the disappearance of an island in Karimun subdistrict. The Institute's director, Andreas Herykahurifan, said the Riau administration must also bear responsibility because it had issued licences to sand-dredging companies.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002

editorial

military clamp-down is bad news for communities struggling to defend rights

October's bomb atrocity in Bali, which killed nearly 200 people and injured hundreds more, is an appalling tragedy - for the victims and their families as well as the wider Balinese community. There will be a huge impact on local people who depend upon tourism for their livelihoods.

Down to Earth No. 55, November 2002


Smoke from forest fires and land clearance has choked Central Kalimantan for three months, causing serious health, transport and economic problems. West Kalimantan and Riau have also been badly affected.

The problems have been worst in Central Kalimantan, which has been hit even harder than in 1997. Palangkaraya has suffered from thick smog continuously since mid-August. By October there were 400 to 500 hot spots (clusters of fires) around the provincial capital.

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 55  November 2002


A new road system will cut across the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, despite fears that it will increase forest destruction in the Leuser Ecosystem.

Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam governor, Abdullah Puteh, revived plans for a network of roads in October 2001 (See DTE 52). The Rp1.5 trillion (US$150 million) project is called the Ladia Galaska: an acronym of the route from the Indian Ocean to the Malacca Straits (Lautan Hindia Gayo Alas Selat Malaka).

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002



Kalimantan border oil palm?

East Kalimantan governor Abdul Fatah said his administration is looking into the possibility of developing oil palm plantations near the province's border with Sabah, Malaysia, to create jobs for a million migrant workers expelled from Malaysia.