Coastal communities and fisheries

July / November 2000

This is the short version of a paper prepared by Nostromo Research for Down to Earth and Minewatch Asia-Pacific, July 2000, revised November 2000.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000


Newmont, the US-based mining company, has again come under fire at both its operations in Indonesia.

In North Sulawesi PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (80% owned by US mining giant Newmont) was forced to shut down operations at its Ratatotok gold mine three times in as many months. Former land-owners mounted a series of blockades an demanded compensation for land taken over by the company.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Natural resources are one of the main factors underlying the independence struggle in Aceh, but decades of plunder have left them severely depleted.

The brutal murder of the internationally known Acehnese human rights activist, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, reminded the world in September that the northern-most tip of Sumatra remains a dangerous place. Despite a 'humanitarian pause' signed by Indonesia and Acehnese independence leaders in June this year, the murders, disappearances and torture have continued.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

The tension between state control over resources and local communities' demands for 'sovereignty'.

The tug of war between the centre and the regional governments has dominated the debate about regional autonomy in the media, in parliament and among Indonesia's creditors.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

In a recent article outlining the history of decentralisation in Indonesia, Trevor Buising states that the changes to be introduced by Law 22 "are not as great as imagined".

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

The environmental NGO, WALHI Central Sulawesi, has launched a campaign to try to stop injury and death among divers who work for pearl and speciality fish exporters. Local people are supplied with compressors and explosives or poisons (Potassium cyanide) by companies who then buy the pearls and fish - including the endangered Napolean Wrasse - for low prices.