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DTE's quarterly newsletter provides information on ecological justice in Indonesia.

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DTE publications

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

Kotopanjang dam victims to get compensation?

Over four thousand families forced to resettle on barren land due to a Japan-funded dam have become "developmental refugees" according to a Japanese newspaper report. The Kotopanjang dam in Riau, Sumatra was built on protected forest and the adat (customary) land of local communities in 1997 at a cost of 36.4 billion Yen, almost all of which was a Japanese government loan.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

The forested Kambuno mountains are the adat (customary) lands of the indigenous Poboya peoples and provide the basis for their livelihoods.

Down to Earth No 52, February 2002


As M. Prakosa settles into his job as Indonesia's fourth forestry minister in four years, the direction of forest policy is becoming clearer.

Forestry minister Prakosa made it clear from the start that he did not intend any immediate radical changes. In the hand-over ceremony from Marzuki Usman, he pledged to build on the foundations laid down by his predecessors rather than introduce new programmes.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


The Nias tragedy - a grim reminder of the consequences of continued forest destruction - came at a time of intense public debate about how to reform forest management in Indonesia as a whole. From September 11th-13th, a high profile international meeting on illegal logging, organised by the World Bank, the UK and US aid agencies, was held in Bali.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Please note: this editorial was prepared before the change of president. To see our statement on this change please click here.

Indonesia today faces an uncertain future. President Wahid is expected to be forced out of power any day and, under a future President Megawati Soekarnoputri, democratic reform could be stopped in its tracks.

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. 49, May 2001


The government's plan to expand oil palm plantations could founder because it fails to address the underlying question of community rights to farmland and forests.

Oil palm remains a central plank of Indonesia's economic recovery strategy despite growing social unrest arising from disputes over plantation land.