Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hydrocarbon Prospecting in Peru: Help the Cashibo-Cacataibo Indigenous Peoples

Here is a chance to make a real-world difference when it comes to mitigating the impacts to indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon basin area. A declaration issued by the FederaciĆ³n Nativa de Comunidades Cacataibo objects to the planned hydrocarbon explorations in Peru's Amazonian hydrocarbon Block 107 (WITHIN and adjacent to the Parque Cordillera Azul) has just been issued, and it appears that as usual, this proposed hydrocarbon exploration will infring on reserves (long) proposed for the isolated Cashibo-Cacataibo speaking people.

The explorations are being led by Petrolifera Petrolium Unlimited and will cover approximately 13,000 square kilometers. Peru's Ministry of Energy & Mines' energy project environmental unit, DGAAE, rejected the original 2006 Environmental Impact Assessment, making multiple "observations" (objections). However, the EIA was subsequently approved in May 2007. The first drilling in planned for late 2007 or early 2008.

Now is the time to comment and act. The indigenous Cacataibo speaking peoples have no way of commenting. It is worthwhile to send comments to DGAAE as by regulation, DGAAE is supposed to take "comments" seriously and comments may help their staff understand what the real impacts of the plan will be. The Field Museum is in a position to debate the sketchy impacts described in the L 107 Environmental Impact Assessment on flora and fauna, but help is needed on the impacts to the indigenous peoples of the area.

In the U.S., the International Center for Environmental Rights (Centro Para El Derecho Internacional Ambiental) is taking the lead in this matter and has designated two staff as points of contact:

Marcos A. Orellana, Director, Program of Human Rights and the Environment/Programa Derechos Humanos y Ambiente:
Tel: +1 202-742-5847

Lauren Baker, Asociada, Programa Derechos Humanos y Ambiente:
Tel: +1 202-742-5851

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