Indonesia

Last November 17, 2,000 police rushed onto farmland to enforce land measurement for Kertajati Airport. Photo: Walhi Jawa Barat.

Indonesia: Villagers resist eviction for 50 sq.km airport city on their land

Rose Bridger
| 5th April 2017
Ten villages and surrounding farmland have already been wiped from the map for a 50 sq.km airport and surrounding 'aeropolis' or airport city in West Java, Indonesia, writes Rose Bridger. And while investors are offered an 'attractive incentives plan', villagers are subject to fierce state repression and brutality. Now only a single village remains standing, but residents continue to resist eviction and demand an end to the project.

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Sumatran elephant at Tangkahan, Sumatra, Indonesia. The species' native rainforest habit is fast giving way to thousands of square miles of palm oil plantation. Photo: Vincent Poulissen via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The oilpalm connection: is the Sumatran elephant the price of our cheap meat?

Philip Lymbery
CIWF
| 28th March 2017
We may know that palm oil is wiping out rainforests worldwide, writes Philip Lymbery. But few realise that our factory farmed meat and dairy are contributing to the problem. As revealed in Philip's new book, 'Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were', palm kernels, left after pressing the fruit for oil, is a protein-rich livestock feed of growing importance. And nowhere is the impact greater than Sumatra, home (for now) to its own unique species of elephant.

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Plastic waste being sorted by hand in Babakan, West Java, Indonesia. Photo: Ikhlasul Amal via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

UK exporting 67% of plastic waste amid 'illegal practices' warnings

The Ecologist
| 13th March 2017
Britain's trade in waste plastic to the Far East is booming. But it's not good news. The exported plastic is meant to be recycled under UK conditions and standards, but often is not, undermining bona fide UK recycling firms who face falling prices, reduced turnover, collapsing profits, and all too often, closure.

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Site of a proposed palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Dr Ward Berenschot, Author provided.

The new colonialism: 'developing' superpowers join the global land grab

Nikita Sud
University of Oxford
| 31st January 2017
Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers.

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New regulations to protect Indonesia's peatlands - like this swamp forest under conversion to plantation - are doomed to failure. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indonesia's plans to protect its peatland forests are fatally flawed

Yuyun Indradi
Greenpeace Indonesia
| 9th January 2017
Indonesia's plans to meet its Paris Agreement obligations by protecting its swamp forests, the world's biggest land reservoir of carbon, have been acclaimed by the world's press, writes Yuyun Indradi. But they contain so many loopholes and flawed compromises that - unless radically reformed - they are doomed to certain failure.

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Drone footage documents a primary drainage canal cutting through an identified 'No Go' area of buffer forest in an IOI oil palm concession in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Photo: Bjorn Vaugn / Greenpeace.

Palm oil giant IOI, rainforest destroyer, must make good its damage!

Annisa Rahmawati
Greenpeace
| 10th June 2016
Over 300 major food companies used to buy palm oil from IOI, writes Annisa Rahmawati. But after the company was found to be destroying vast areas of Indonesia's rainforest and draining peatlands to make new palm oil plantations, it has been deserted by its customers. Now IOI must go beyond just sticking to the rules, and start actively repairing the damage it has caused.

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Sumatran orangutans have lost huge areas of forest habitat to logging, burning and palm oil plantations. Photo: Richard Whitcombe.

Good news for the only place on Earth where tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants live together

Bill Laurance
James Cook University
| 10th May 2016
The remarkable Leuser ecosystem in Aceh, Sumatra, has faced massive destruction over recent years with rice farms, palm oil, roads and mines, writes Bill Laurance. But that's all set to end with a moratorium on forest clearance that's supported at the highest levels of government, both state and national. This is definitely news to celebrate! But we must also maintain our vigilance.

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Banggai Cardinalfish in their natural habitat. Photo: Fondation Franz Weber.

From coral reef to 'aquarium filler': the beauty of tropical fish is their doom

Monica Biondo
Fondation Franz Weber
| 15th April 2016
Gorgeous coral fish are to be seen everywhere, writes Monica Biondo, decorating aquariums in restaurants, doctors' offices and living rooms. The coral fish trade is booming! But it's destroying the reefs themselves, and driving many species to extinction. The Banggai Cardinalfish is among those unlikely to survive as this evil trade lays waste to them and their precious habitat.

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Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Timor-Leste, seen here inside a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) tent, in Beto Timur, July 2008. Photo: UN Photo / Martine Perret.

Australia's complicity in the East Timor genocide: oil, gas and the depravity of power

John Pilger
| 31st March 2016
In 1975 Indonesia invaded the small Pacific country of East Timor, writes John Pilger, and then massacred a third of its population to suppress demands for independence. Now unearthed documents show the genocide was supported by Australia so it could grab the oil and gas reserves of the Timor Sea. Despite East Timor's independence, won in 1999, Australia is still stealing its oil and gas revenues worth $5 billion and counting.

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Drought and deforestation have proved to be a volatile combination in Indonesia. Photo: David Gilbert / Greenpeace, Author provided.

As Indonesia burns, its government moves to increase forest destruction

William Laurance
James Cook University
| 24th November 2015
'No deforestation' pledges by global food corporations are yielding results, writes William Laurance. But now the Indonesian and Malaysian governments are calling on them to abandon their promises - even as the region's rainforests go up in smoke, cleared for new oil palm plantations. The companies must hold firm to their commitments.

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Fire in Tesso Nilo National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia, on 5th July 2015 - made available through a partnership of Global Forest Watch Fires and Digital Globe. Photo: World Resources Institute via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Why Indonesia can't put out its rainforest fires

Scott Edwards
University of Birmingham
| 4th November 2015
Indonesia's President Widodo has promised strong action to put out his country's raging forest fires, writes Scott Edwards. Yet this year's conflagrations are the worst since 1997. His problem? Powerful elites in forested provinces are making big money from the burning. And they see little reason to heed Widodo's pleas - or anyone else's.

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A truck transport huge logs in Indonesia. Photo: Hari Priyadi for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Indonesia 'greenwashes' illegal timber exports

The Ecologist
| 3rd November 2015
Just as Indonesia's forests are going up in flames, in part as a result of illegal logging on a massive scale, the country's Trade Minister has issued a regulation that would rubber stamp exports of illegal timber - also undermining a timber agreement with the EU that's due to come into force next month.

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Flames break through from deep peatland in burning Indonesian rainfoirest. Photo: Greenpeace via Youtube video (see embed).

Indonesian forest fires will emit more CO2 than UK

Zachary Davies Boren
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 8th October 2015
Thanks to massive forest clearance for palm oil plantations combined with drought conditions in this 'El Nino' year, writes Zachary Davies Boren, rainforest and peatland fires across Indonesia are set to emit more carbon than the UK, while covering millions of square kilometres with choking smoke.

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Just hanging ... Orangutan trio enjoying bananas at Pesalat Rehabilitation Center, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Palm oil versus orangutans? Don't forget the human dimension

Liana Chua
| 28th September 2015
The orangutans of Southeast Asia make a fantastic symbol of endangered rainforests, writes Liana Chua, rousing public opposition to palm oil companies and their bulldozers. But this story of good versus evil omits the essential human dimension. To save the rainforests and their great apes, we must make forest peoples a key part of the conservation narrative.

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Sun sinking in smoke from Indonesia's burning forests and peatlands, Singapore, around 6pm on 21st September 2014. Photo: Yvonne Perkins via Flickr (CC BY).

Indonesia chokes as forest and peatland fires rip

The Ecologist
| 21st September 2015
The burning forests and peatlands of Indonesia are once again casting a pall of choking smoke across the region, in the process releasing billions of tonnes of carbon. Promises to solve the problems stand betrayed - and COP21 commitments to tackle the problem are being weakened.

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A demonstration of West Papuans against Indonesia's military occupation. Photo: Free West Papua campaign.

West Papua: after 50 years of cruel repression, the intoxicating smell of freedom

Jason MacLeod
Waging NonViolence
| 4th September 2015
Indonesia's murderous campaign of military repression in its stolen territory of West Papua continues, writes Jason MacLeod. But a courageous 50-year struggle for human rights and freedom is finally bearing fruit, with growing recognition of West Papua's right to nationhood among its Pacific neighbours. Real hopes of a better future are rising above the blood and pain.

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Forest fires at Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, September 2011. Photo: Rini Sulaiman/ Norwegian Embassy for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Indonesia at risk from huge fires as El Niño gathers

Allan Spessa
Robert Field
| 17th June 2015
The conditions for an 'El Niño' climate perturbation over the Pacific appear to be in place, write Allan Spessa & Robert Field - and that means there's a high risk of large scale fires in Indonesia's forests and peatlands in coming months.

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Log yard operated by plantation company PT Kahayan, October 2014. Photo: EIA.

Indonesia: palm oil expansion drives massive illegal logging

Environmental Investigation Agency
Oliver Tickell
| 14th January 2015
Indonesia appears to brought rainforest logging under control - but it's all a huge illusion, according to a new EIA report. Traditional logging has been replaced by the mass clearance of rainforest for oil palm plantations, creating massive supplies of hugely profitable but often illegal timber. And lurking beneath the surface is a pervasive network of criminality and corruption.

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About half the world's coal is being produced at a loss, as buyers turn away. ALCOA Anglesea coal mine, Australia. Photo: Takver via Flickr.

Tide turning against global coal industry

Chris Rose
DeSmogBlog
| 2nd October 2014
King Coal's reign is coming to an end, writes Chris Rose, at least as a fuel for generating electricity. Following a price collapse half of all production is being sold at a loss - and major coal users like China are still moving away from the high-carbon fuel.

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