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

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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

Villagers in South Sumatra have successfully regained some of their forest which the government had allocated as a plantation concession to PT Musi Hutan Persada (PT MHP). The Department of Forestry and Plantations has agreed to hand 12,050 ha back to the former inhabitants of 12 villages in the sub-district of Rambang Lubai.

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

Coastal communities are being impoverished by large-scale illegal fishing operations; the country's coral reefs are badly damaged and its mangroves are rapidly disappearing. Indonesia's coastal resources are facing a grave crisis. The question now is whether the government of President Wahid has the political commitment to stop the devastation.

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

The situation of Kutai National Park in East Kalimantan is critical. Its head, Toni Suhartono, reckons 10 hectares of forest are cleared daily by illegal loggers. Much of this is the result of highly organised operations. Some 50 trucks per day transport logs out of the Park to the boom town of Sangatta where middle-men export them from the local port.