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International Update Volume 48, Issue 7

PUBLIC ACCESS TO INDONESIAN PLANTATION DATA STILL MIRED IN BUREAUCRACY

Indonesia

A year after the Supreme Court decision to uphold a freedom-of-information order, the Indonesian government continues to stall on releasing data on plantations operating in the country. The government’s rationale for not complying with the order is its obligation to generate revenue from the release of this data; the lack of a payment mechanism is the obstacle in releasing the information to the public. Lack of public access to this information contributes to the increasing number of land conflicts in plantation areas in recent years.

INDIA APPROVES PLAN TO STOP FARMERS BURNING CROP RESIDUES

India

To bring pollution levels down in and around New Dehli, India approved a two-year plan targeting agricultural mechanization to reduce crop residue burning. Burned crop stubble is a significant source of pollution in New Delhi, accounting for one-quarter of the capital’s air pollution last November. This plan may respond to some of the criticisms the New Delhi government received regarding the city’s air quality; Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described New Delhi as a “gas chamber.” Last November, United Airlines suspended flights to New Delhi because of the pollution.

BRAZIL'S QUILOMBO COMMUNITY GRANTED TITLE TO 220,000 HECTARES OF RAINFOREST

Brazil

Brazil’s Supreme Court reaffirmed the Quilombo people’s rights over their territories, ending a lengthy multi-generational fight for their land entitlement. Historically, Quilombo communities faced tremendous difficulties to secure land titles, and were forced to compete with powerful agribusiness interests in developing and using the land. The Quilombos’ rights to traditional lands are guaranteed under the 1988 Brazilian constitution; following the Supreme Court decision, the Cachoeira Porteira Quilombo community received an official land entitlement.