Indonesia

Indonesia has great natural wealth but many of its citizens live in extreme poverty. Democratic progress has been made since the resigation of former president Suharto in 1998, but many civil society organisations feel that far too little progress has been made towards sustainable management of the country's resources, and ensuring that Indonesia's diverse communities have a real say in decisions which affect their future.

Down to Earth No 40, February 1999

Indonesia's farmers are organising to challenge the powerful business conglomerates and the unequal distribution of agricultural land.

The fall of Suharto, the economic crisis and a desperate need to grow food have intensified the battle for farmland now being fought in many parts of Indonesia.

Down to Earth No. 39, Nov 1998

People's action to reclaim their land is gathering pace.

The protests in the weeks immediately surrounding the fall of Suharto were largely mounted by urban-based students, workers and professional groups. Land reform - if mentioned – came at the end of lists of demands for the removal of the president, moves against corruption and reduced food prices.

Down to Earth No. 38 August 1998

Down to Earth No. 38, August 1998

Just four months ago Bob Hasan was one of Indonesia's main power-brokers as President Suharto's right-hand man. But now that his benefactor and partner-in-greed has been forced out, Indonesia's top timber baron is being called to account.

Since the fall of Suharto, Bob Hasan's fortunes have been on the decline.

Down to Earth No. 36 February 1998

The rapid expansion of oil palm plantations is enriching the entrepreneurs but impoverishing farmers whose lands are taken over for development.

Down to Earth No. 35, November 1997, Forest Fires Special Supplement

1997 will be remembered as a year when greed and folly led to international pollution on an unprecedented scale. Indonesia's fires, burning in some places since June, have devastated vast swathes of forests and farmland and have endangered the health of tens of millions of people across at least six countries.

Down to Earth No. 35, November 1997, Forest Fires Special Supplement

This selective chronology, compiled mainly from press reports, follows the development of the 1997 fires, documents the government response and attempts to gives some indication of its impact on the population.