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The Peruvian Amazon, the fourth largest expanse of tropical rainforest in the world, is home to thousands of indigenous peoples speaking dozens of languages, including some of the last groups living with little or no direct contact with the outside world. Tragically, since 2003 nearly three quarters of the Peruvian Amazon has been leased to the international oil industry for the highest bid. More
Reports of oil companies leaving the Peruvian Amazon made weekly headlines in March, providing encouragement to those of us who love the Amazon and know that humanity must move away from fossil fuels. In addition to the announcement by two oil companies that they will abandon drilling projects in important oil blocks, a Peruvian court annulled a controversial oil contract within indigenous territories for lack of proper consultation.
From the snow-covered plains of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota to Shuar rainforest territories in the Ecuadorian Amazon, there is a resurgence of resistance to extractive industry projects around the world. These conflicts have major implications for China, Latin America's largest trading partner, whose state run companies are involved in many of the controversial projects, and whose bilateral loans and lines of credit are closely tied to extractive industries.
In the face of too many previous agreements left unfulfilled, more unity is the best strategy forward, affirm the indigenous federations united in Saramurillo.
While the political climate has dramatically changed in 2016, we remain ever-committed to advancing our work in defense of the Amazon, in support of indigenous peoples rights and territories, and in growing the global movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground and build a just transition to renewables.
The Achuar federation, representing 45 communities within Block 64 in the northern Peruvian Amazon, publicly bans Chilean oil company GeoPark from entering their territoryDecember 20, 2016
"We have lived through the bad experience of damages to our habitat, health, and life as a result of activities related to the Northern Peruvian Oil Pipeline and activities of the oil company Talisman, from which there continue to be environmental liabilities, in part within our territory, that to date have not been remediated," the Achuar wrote in the statement. "Given this we have taken the firm decision to not permit any oil activity within our territory."
Check out one of the stunning new films recently released about the Amazon and the heroic environmental defenders protecting it and defending us from climate change.
An indigenous federation opposed to a recently approved plan for oil drilling in the Peruvian Amazon said on Friday that native communities will physically block any attempt by oil companies to operate on their lands.
Tomorrow marks the end of a wrenching election season here in the U.S., one with barely a mention of the environment or climate change, and certainly no proposals for major policies to protect our environment and address climate change.
After five lackluster years under President Ollanta Humala, Peru is facing a new political scenario with the ascension of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to the presidency. Here are some of the flashpoints Amazon Watch will be monitoring in the coming months and years.
On October 27th in North Dakota, indigenous water protectors and their allies were assaulted by over 300 police officers in riot gear, ATVs and armored vehicles. Police used pepper spray, concussion grenades and a sound cannon against non-violent activists in an outrageous and unnecessary use of force. This is yet another example of what indigenous peoples face across the globe when they stand in opposition to forces more interested in profit than in environmental protection or indigenous rights.