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Drilling in Amazon Imperils Environment and Indigenous People

On January 27, 2014 Peruvian government regulators approved plans for gas company Pluspetrol to commence drilling in a once-protected reserve for indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest. The approval comes after Peru quashed a decidedly critical environmental impact report on the operation by the Culture Ministry (MINCU), the resignation of the Culture Minister and other Ministry personnel, and heavy criticism from Peruvian and international civil society.
A subsequent MINCU report requested that Pluspetrol cancel plans to conduct seismic tests in one specific portion of the reserve because of the “possible presence of [indigenous] people in isolation,” yet it didn’t object to tests across a much broader area.
The planned operations expand the Camisea gas project, Peru’s biggest energy development, with active well platforms already in the indigenous reserve producing gas. Almost three-quarters of Pluspetrol’s operation overlaps the reserve, created in 1990 and given greater legal protection in 2003.
The reserve’s inhabitants live in what Peruvian law calls “voluntary isolation” or “initial contact,” having little-to-no contact with outsiders and thus lacking immune defenses. Pluspetrol concedes that contact with the reserve’s inhabitants is “probable” during drilling, and that such peoples in general are thus susceptible to “massive deaths” from transmitted diseases.

Source:
David Hill, “Gas Company to Drill in Manu National Park Buffer Zone, Imperiling Indigenous People,” Mongobay, Febuary 4, 2014, http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0204-hill-gas-manu.html

Student Researcher: Frank Fitton (Florida Atlantic University)

Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)

  • Vincent L. Guarisco March 4, 2014

    Thanks for the heads up. Just another terrible example of ‘large corporations’ trampling on the birthright of innocent people in their quest for profit.

    Honorable people who cause harm to no one whose only desire is to be left alone to enjoy their secluded culture and sacred sovereignty in peace without being exploited and/or disturbed.

    May I live to see the day when all of humanity unites under one banner to abolish those who do these horrible things.

  • Shaine Parker March 5, 2014

    What a terrible dea! Is there any way this can be stopped?

  • Nancy Leman March 5, 2014

    (MOU) 2/26/14_between the Parties: Calif. & Peru, in the spirit of the U.S.-Peru FTA

    =======================================

    http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18423

    California and Peru Sign Agreement to Strengthen Economic, Environmental Ties

    2-26-2014

    SAN FRANCISCO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Ambassador of Peru to the United States Harold Forsyth today signed an agreement to strengthen cultural, economic and academic ties and tackle shared challenges, including climate change.

    “Today, California and Peru have pledged to work together on issues of mutual concern, including trade, science and initiatives to combat climate change,” said Governor Brown.

    “This is a historic step in the dynamic and prosperous bilateral relationship between Peru and the state of California — one of the strongest markets in the world,” Ambassador Forsyth said. “The agreement is a model of cooperation, trade liberalization and investment promotion between the North and South. The peoples of California and Peru will be the direct beneficiaries and that will help create stronger bridges between our countries.”

    The memorandum of understanding signed today builds on months of collaboration between Peru and California, including a meeting last August where the Governor shared the consensus statement on climate change with Ambassador Forsyth. This document translates key scientific findings from disparate fields into one unified message for policymakers, industry and the general public.

    Through today’s agreement, Peru and California have committed to exchanging “experts and joint projects in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, air quality, forest management, water quality and water management” and promoting the public and private use of clean technologies. Additionally, the two parties agreed to cooperate on food safety, fishery management and agricultural sustainability and collaborate on educational and cultural exchanges and promote trade and tourism.

    The agreement, signed today, is copied below:

    MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF THE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PERU AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

     

    The Government of the Republic of Peru and the State of California, hereinafter “the Parties”;

    Reaffirming the excellent relations between the Republic of Peru and the State of California and being determined to strengthen those relations by developing a framework of cooperation through this Memorandum of Understanding;

    Recognizing that the willingness of the Republic of Peru and the State of California will contribute to develop mutually beneficial programs in areas of common interest;

    Acknowledging the existence of opportunities to develop bilateral cooperation to improve commerce, capacity building, education and research to benefit all sectors of society;

    Have reached the following understandings:

    ARTICLE I

    PURPOSE

    This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is based on the following common objectives of the Parties:

    a) To engage in mutually beneficial economic, commercial, scientific, technological, cultural, environmental and educational activities;

    b) To promote the organization of trade and investment missions; facilitating the identification of economic opportunities;

    c) To recognize in the spirit of the U.S.-Peru FTA the importance of strengthening the Parties’ capacity to protect the environment and of promoting sustainable development in concert with strengthening their trade and investment relations.

    d) To foster cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including the agricultural and forestry sectors;

    e) To foster academic-to-academic partnerships among educational institutions and business-to-business activities between private entities,

    and

    f) To encourage cooperation through dialogue, between their institutions, universities, research centers, companies and citizens to strengthen further the bonds of friendship between the Republic of Peru and the State of California.

    ARTICLE II

    AREAS OF COOPERATION

    The Government of the Republic of Peru and the State of California agree to advance cooperation through initiatives focused particularly, but not exclusively, on the following areas:

    a) AGRICULTURE, POULTRY AND LIVESTOCK:

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To encourage training opportunities on plant and animal production technology, integrated pest management, plant and animal physiology, diary and egg production, among others.

    • To encourage technical cooperation on post-harvest management for plant (fruits and vegetables) and animal (livestock, poultry) products and by-products, post-harvest physiology of fruits and vegetables as well as controlled atmosphere technology for both animal and plant products, among others.

    • To encourage expansion of sustainable agricultural practices, including those that reduce fertilizer and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

    b) FOOD SAFETY:

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To encourage training opportunities on food safety technology, laboratory analysis on contaminants (bacteria, fungi, pesticides, etc.), food safety on* the packinghouse, among others.

    • To encourage technical cooperation on food safety for plant (fruits and vegetables), animal (livestock, poultry), and fish products, either fresh or processed.

    c) AQUACULTURE:

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To encourage training opportunities on fishery production and technology in aquaculture environments, as well as for fish disease control strategies.

    • To encourage technical cooperation on post-harvest management for fish and fish products.

    • To encourage expansion of sustainable aquaculture practices.

    d) ENVIROMENTAL MATTERS:

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To promote the dialogue, exchange of experts and joint projects in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, air quality, forest management, water quality and water management.

    • To promote public and private participation for the improvement of knowledge and use of clean technologies.

    e) EDUCATION

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To consider opportunities for cooperation at the K-12 level to promote culture and language exchanges through online school partnerships;

    • To promote collaboration between institutions of higher education to develop undergraduate, master and doctoral studies cooperation programs, especially in science-related areas.

    f) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To foster collaboration between their institutions, organizations, universities, research centers, companies and citizens to develop science and technology cooperation programs and projects on areas of mutual interest;

    • To promote visits and the exchange of experts and consider opportunities for joint conferences, internships, and training in areas such as climate change: mitigation and adaptation policies, health sciences, IT, alternative sources of energy, engineering, and others.

    g) TRADE AND BUSINESS

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To provide information and advice to companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, from each of their respective markets as they seek to invest in or export to the other market, and to facilitate relevant connections to the extent it is reasonably possible to do so;

    • Encourage the organization of joint trade-promotion activities and business missions to both destinations, and engage in dialogue regarding trade and investment matters;

    • To welcome trade and tourism promotion officials and delegations, and make appropriate introductions.

    h) CULTURE

    Among other activities in this field the Parties agree:

    • To consider opportunities for the organization of joint cultural activities;

    • To engage in dialogue regarding tangible cultural heritage, including best practices for conservation and preventive care, as well as history of technology, academic cooperation, and scientific research;

    ARTICLE III

    IMPLEMENTATION

    The Parties will encourage their corresponding agencies, enterprises and educational institutions that might contribute to the successful implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding, to participate actively in the above-mentioned areas.

    In order to facilitate the implementation of this MOU, the Parties will set up a joint committee led by the Embassy of Peru in United States representing the Government of the Republic of Peru and a representative to be designated by the Government of the State of California, which will meet periodically to address specific cooperation action plans to achieve the objectives established in this Memorandum.

    All activities undertaken pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding shall be subject to the applicable laws of the Parties, as well as the availability of funds, personnel, and other resources of each Party.

    ARTICLE IV

    ENTRY INTO FORCE

    This Memorandum of Understanding is effective on the date it is signed and does not create any legally binding rights or obligations for either Party.

    ARTICLE V

    MODIFICATIONS

    This Memorandum of Understanding may be modified at any time by mutual consent of the Parties.

    ARTICLE VI

    DURATION

    This Memorandum of Understanding is indefinite, but either party may withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding [30″> days after written notice to the other Party. Such notification is to have no effect on activities in progress unless the Parties mutually decide otherwise.

    SIGNED this twenty-sixth day of February 2014 at San Francisco, California, in duplicate in the English and Spanish languages, each text

    being equally authentic.

    FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

     

     

     

     

     

    ——————————————–

    EDMUND G. BROWN JR.

    GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

     

     

     

     

     

    FOR THE REPUBLIC OF PERU

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ——————————————-

    HAROLD FORSYTH

    AMBASSADOR OF PERU TO THE UNITED STATES

     

     

    ###

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