Indigenous Peoples

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

 

In Brief...


No more forest conversion until forestry plan in place

The forestry ministry has said there will be no further conversion of natural forests for at least two years until a national forest management programme has been approved.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

In this time of great economic, political and ecological uncertainty in Indonesia, regional autonomy is just one of the big question marks hanging over the country's future. It is a particularly complex issue because it concerns much more than the devolution of authority from Jakarta to regional level.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

The rights of Indonesia's tens of millions of indigenous people are not properly recognised under Indonesian law and forest-dwellers are at a particular disadvantage. Although some attention is given to customary law (hukum adat) in the 1999 Forestry Act and in other pieces of legislation, adat land rights are not recognised in forest areas because all forests are categorised as state-owned.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

In the run-up to the January 2001 starting date for decentralisation, there are already many signs that regional autonomy will be used for very different purposes. Local governments are using decentralisation to impose taxes on businesses operating in their areas. NGOs and community groups are making demands that conflict directly with the limits set on autonomy in the laws.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

Opposition is mounting to large-scale mining in Indonesia as communities speak out about its effects on their lives and the environment, but foreign companies are warning the Wahid government not to change the contracts they signed during the Suharto regime.

Indonesia's foreign-dominated mining industry is on the defensive.

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.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

The government has decided that the repackaged Kalimantan mega-project will not after all go ahead, due to the huge problems the original project created. The disastrous million hectare project to convert peat swamp forests to rice-fields was launched in 1995 but was finally halted last year after the catastrophic environmental impacts became obvious.