Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finally...One Teeeeeeny Step

For the first time in years, I can say that the Peruvian government has taken one super-MINI step forward. I’ll probably kick myself for praising Garcia’s government later (I’m quite a cynic when it comes to presidential leaders these days), but, at last…the Ministry of Energy has begun to show some support for indigenous, unprotected tribes in the Amazon that are in the direct line of fire from the exploration plight of internal and international oil companies.

Earlier this month, the Peruvian government blocked the second oil company -- this time, the US-owned Barrett Resources – from doing preliminary exploration in certain oil concessions in the Amazon, claiming that their environmental reports did not take account of uncontacted indigenous tribes. The concern over the last couple of decades, as oil exploration and drilling became practically Beatle-mania popular, was that indigenous tribes would have no defense against the types of negatives that go along with drilling in the Amazon. Examples: frequent pipe bursts and spills, water pollution, malaria…the list goes on. (breathe...I get pretty fired up about these things, people.)

This is one small step for Peruvian-kind. No giant steps ahead, it seems, as nearly 70 percent of the Amazon is now blocked off for oil concessions and the government often denies that there are even truly indigenous populations out there.

Does anyone else follow this?

1 comment:

Steve said...

Not really, this is all news to me. But I have followed a lot of the different stages of development in Latin America. You know what I have noticed, and this only partly relates to Peru, is how there isn't much of a PR campaign for the Amazon anymore. Or maybe it is still going on, but mostly in elementary schools because past middle school, the slash and burn of the amazon has become old news. I guess they're getting it small enough to fit it into a national park, something like the everglades.

Good luck Peru.