Indigenous Peoples

Released for publication on September 20, 2001

* Refuting the unsustainable claims of the mining industry
* Opposing current models of "engagement"
* Demanding full recognition of community rights

We - twenty four representatives of communities and groups affected by mining from Asia-Pacific, Africa, India, South and North America - met in London from May 18-23rd 2001, to compare the impacts of mining on the lives of communities and ecosystems and to share strategies on how to confront the industry.

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


Indigenous peoples in the Mamberamo region of West Papua are calling for the 7.7 million hectare Mamberamo mega-project to be stopped.

The Mamberamo project, announced in the 1990s by former President Habibie when he was minister for research and technology, includes the construction of hydro-dams which will permanently affect the fragile ecosystem of the mangrove swamps downstream.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


The campaign to stop illegal logging has become a key focus for Indonesia's new forestry minister, but the problem is immense and can only be properly tackled, say NGOs, by a complete overhaul of forest management in Indonesia.

Illegal logging has reached unprecedented levels in post-Suharto Indonesia, with up to 56.6 million cubic metres of logs being felled without permits each year.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Protected areas such as Siberut are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation - legal and illegal - due to Indonesia's prolonged economic crisis, coupled with regional autonomy and the devolution of revenue gathering.

The island of Siberut has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1981 due to its rich forests, unique wildlife and the traditional lifestyle and beliefs of the indigenous people.

Down to Earth No. 50, August 2001


Communities in Kalimantan are trying to secure fair compensation for lands and resources from two oil palm plantation companies funded by CDC, the British private investment agency. Although some moves towards negotiations have been made, CDC still fails to acknowledge that the projects' policies on land acquisition and community relations have led to social conflict, deforestation and, for some communities, increased poverty.

a report prepared for

Down To Earth

By M.Adriana Sri Adhiati

and Armin Bobsien (ed.)

July 2001