Land and food security

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


Local people in South Kalimantan whose land was taken for a dam project over thirty years ago, threatened to cut electricity supplies if the state electricity company continued to deny them proper compensation.

Shortly after December's Idul Fitri Islamic festival, tension built up at the site of the Riam Kanan dam, South Kalimantan, when local people threatened to close down the hydroelectric power plant on 1st January.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


NGO to sue Singapore over sand imports

The Institute of Indonesian Forestry Studies, an organisation based in Riau province, is planning to charge Singapore with destroying the marine environment and mangrove forests as well as causing the disappearance of an island in Karimun subdistrict. The Institute's director, Andreas Herykahurifan, said the Riau administration must also bear responsibility because it had issued licences to sand-dredging companies.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights abuses connected to the logging industry will increase in West Papua as more forests are destroyed and the Indonesian security forces continue their business activities in a climate of impunity.

In July 2002, West Papuan human rights group ELSHAM reported a series of logging-related human rights abuses committed between February and June 2002 by members of the Indonesian armed forces stationed in sub-districts around Jayapura.

Down to Earth No. 55, November 2002


Indonesian civil society groups and international observers are dismayed that forestry minister Prakosa has formally asked the Home Affairs ministry to cancel a pioneering local regulation on community forestry in Wonosobo (Perda 22/2001).

The Wonosobo regulation paved the way for a new approach to forest management in Central Java.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Peasant farmers across Indonesia are protesting against government policies which deprive them of land and livelihood. They are demanding a new, pro-poor approach to national development which promotes peasants' rights. In the meantime, violence and intimidation of peasants involved in land disputes continues.

Hundreds of peasant farmers from West Java tore down the gates to Indonesia's national parliament in Jakarta in September, during a protest to mark Farmers Day 2002.

Down to Earth No 55 November 2002


The events outlined below show that state-owned forestry company, Perhutani, remains an unreconstructed Suharto-era company, using violence and intimidation to deal with community opposition to its plans. They undermine the company's attempts to present itself to foreign buyers as a socially and environmentally progressive producer.

Perhutani has already run into trouble over certificates issued by the international eco-labelling organisation, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Tensions between the plantation company HSL and the indigenous community in the Manis Mata area of West Kalimantan have increased. In July, the British-owned company started to clear villagers' customary land at Terusan even though the community has repeatedly stated its outright opposition to oil palm.