While the Ecuadorian Government auctions off a significant portion of the Amazon rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Peru’s Environmental Ministry is declaring a state of emergency due to years of oil drilling and resulting wide-spread contamination… so, if it wasn’t already abundantly clear, it seems human potential for stupidity is just as boundless as we feared it might be.
But on a “positive” note, Peru’s declaration of environmental emergency has been hailed by Sixto Shapiama, the president of the Quichua Federation, as “a great achievement because for many years, decades, the government never wanted to see the reality.”
See the two articles and links below.
Ecuador auctions off Amazon to Chinese oil firms
Indigenous groups claim they have not consented to oil projects, as politicians visit Beijing to publicise bidding process
The Guardian, Tuesday 26 March 2013
Ecuador plans to auction off more than three million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, angering indigenous groups and underlining the global environmental toll of China‘s insatiable thirst for energy.
On Monday morning a group of Ecuadorean politicians pitched bidding contracts to representatives of Chinese oil companies at a Hilton hotel in central Beijing, on the fourth leg of a roadshow to publicise the bidding process. Previous meetings in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, and in Houston and Paris were each confronted with protests by indigenous groups.
Attending the roadshow were black-suited representatives from oil companies including China Petrochemical and China National Offshore Oil. “Ecuador is willing to establish a relationship of mutual benefit – a win-win relationship,” said Ecuador’s ambassador to China in opening remarks.
According to the California-based NGO Amazon Watch, seven indigenous groups who inhabit the land claim that they have not consented to oil projects, which would devastate the area’s environment and threaten their traditional way of life.
Peru Declares Oil Contamination Emergency In Remote Amazon Region
By Carla Salzar and Frank Bajak
Peru’s government declared an environmental state of emergency on Monday in a remote Amazon jungle region it says has been affected by years of contamination at the country’s most productive oil fields, which are currently operated by Argentina-based Pluspetrol.
Indigenous groups in the Pastaza River basin near the Ecuador border have been complaining for years about the pollution and the failure of successive governments to address it. Authorities say one reason the pollution was never addressed is that until now Peru lacked the requisite environmental quality standards.
In declaring the emergency, Peru’s Environment Ministry said the contamination included high levels of lead, barium and chromium as well as petroleum-related compounds. The region is inhabited mostly by the Quichua and Ashuar, who are primarily hunter-gatherers.