Peru Set to Renege on Amazon Protection

B. McPherson

The greed for oil and gas has the Peruvian government breaking promises to never explore for gas in the Amazon Reserve.

“The reserve is the territory of several vulnerable uncontacted tribes, and a crucial buffer zone for the Manu National Park, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for having a biological diversity that ‘exceeds any other place on Earth.’” Survival International

The original exploration for oil in the region was by Shell Oil who cut exploration roads allowing loggers into the region that hosts uncontacted tribes. The result for the people contacted, was death in huge numbers. Some from physical abuse but many, many more from disease. Shell pulled out of the Camisea region which had no oil but has big gas deposits.

Peru pledged to leave the reserve as a sanctuary for the uncontacted people, but now has designated a block of land in the reserve for exploration. In an ironic twist, they have named the block Fitzcarrald. Fitzcarrald was a rubber baron in the 19th century who ruthlessly exploited the people and environment of the Madre de Dios basin.

The country received a multimillion dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to develop the Camisea field on the basis that it would never exploit the Reserve.

Survival International is appealing to Mick Jagger to intercede for the uncontacted tribes and for the environment. He was named an Environmental Ambassador by Peru when he was there to film a movie.

As in many places around the world that have proved rich in mineral wealth, timber or water, the indigenous people bear the true costs of the development and receive little of the benefits of resource extraction.

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