Indigenous Peoples

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.

Down to Earth No 45 May 2000


NGOs protest US meddling

Indonesian NGOs have protested against pressure by the US Embassy in Jakarta to cut the funding of JATAM, the mining advocacy network. A joint statement defends JATAM's call for a moratorium on mining and supports the organisation's advocacy work on Newmont, the US-based company operating the Ratatotok gold mine in North Sulawesi).

Down to Earth No. 44 February 2000

With the release of new maps and data on forest cover (or the lack of it) in Indonesia, the Jakarta government is having to face up to the country's rapid deforestation rate. International donors are pressing Wahid's government to take action now to stop illegal logging and to draw up a coherent medium-term national forestry programme.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

A crisis in the oil palm industry is making a mockery of predictions that exports of the crop will help haul Indonesia out of its economic woes.

Export orders for Indonesian palm oil products fell sharply when the first shipment of palm oil, contaminated with diesel oil, was rejected by buyers in the Netherlands in October last year.

Down to Earth No. 44, February 2000

Companies which have profited from Indonesia's iron-fisted rule in West Papua, may be starting to feel jittery as calls for independence grow more insistent.

On December 1st last year celebrations took place in towns all over West Papua to mark the 38th anniversary of independence, declared when the territory was still under Dutch rule.