Foreign investment

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Violations of community rights are still continuing as companies and regional governments try to maximise income from the country's mineral resources. At the same time, mining companies are complaining about the "legal vacuum" hampering their operations in Indonesia.

Large-scale mining in Indonesia is in 'legal limbo', as the protesting companies see it, because their contracts, signed during the Suharto era, are being nibbled away by the demands of local governments newly empowered by regional autonomy.

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.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


An eco-disaster in the making, the Mamberamo mega-project is to go ahead soon, according to Indonesian government officials. The first stage of the project will go ahead after the implementation of 'special autonomy' and will be jointly managed by foreign investors, through the Jakarta and provincial administration, according to Dance Flassy, head of Development of Irian Jayan Autonomy.

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001


The government's plan to expand oil palm plantations could founder because it fails to address the underlying question of community rights to farmland and forests.

Oil palm remains a central plank of Indonesia's economic recovery strategy despite growing social unrest arising from disputes over plantation land.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001

Indonesia has permitted the planting of genetically modified crops without public consultation and without adequate legal protection for farmers, consumers and the environment.

On March 15th, forty tons of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds arrived from South Africa at Hasanuddin airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi. The seeds were trucked away under armed guard, to be sold to farmers in seven districts in the province. They were imported by PT Monagro Kimia the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based agro-chemical giant, Monsanto.

Down to Earth No. 49, May 2001


A new NGO report has drawn attention to the role of export credit lending agencies in pulp and paper mills and other projects in Indonesia, which have led to increased deforestation and abuse of people's rights.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The shooting of demonstrators, killings in police detention and increased military presence are making the prospects for peace in West Papua even more remote.