Native Communities in Peru Take Charge of Environmental Monitoring
IPS, 12 December 2012

LIMA, PERU: At the end of every month, with the skill of an environmental engineer, Wilson Sandi prepares a work plan that will be used by Achuar indigenous people, like him, to document the scars left by 40 years of oil drilling in the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto. Sandi is the coordinator of the Environmental Monitoring Programme created by the Federation of Native Communities of the Corrientes River (FECONACO), which focuses its efforts on Lot 1AB and Lot 8, operated by the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol Norte. Using GPS equipment, photographs and video recordings, the monitors document oil industry-related environmental liabilities that date back many years, as well as new oil leaks in rivers, streams and soils on which indigenous communities depend for their survival. Since FECONACO began implementing the programme in 2006, 120 leaks have been documented. Together with two other indigenous organizations, the Quechua Indigenous Federation of the Pastaza River (FEDIQUEP) and the Federation of Native Communities of the Alto Tigre River (FECONAT), they have discovered environmental liabilities that even the government had not detected, and which are therefore not included in official records. Read the article …