Indigenous people slam Peru government for unrestrained deforestation of Amazon
As Peru hosts the UN climate change conference in Lima, representatives of indigenous people have called attention to the country’s own policies related to development and deforestation in Peruvian Amazon forests. A report titled “Revealing The Hidden”, by AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon) and the Forest Peoples’ Programme, highlights the main underlying drivers of deforestation and the indigenous people’s struggle for land rights.
The report cites large-scale investments in agribusiness including palm oil, logging, mining, dams, oil and gas and roads as the reason for massive deforestation of the Amazon forests. It goes on to explain that the region thus degraded by oil, gas and logging operations would emit a greater amount of carbon than from deforestation itself in these areas. This degradation could generate greenhouse gas emissions greater than those caused by the next ten years of deforestation, says the report.
“Oil palm is not discussed much in these debates about deforestation,” says Alberto Pizango, president of AIDESEP, in the report. “It is ‘invisible’, just like the massive oil spills, the multiple dams that are planned, the super highways, the gold rush or the timber mafia. This explains the need for this study, the need to make visible what is not spoken and to expose what is hidden to try and divert our attentions.”
The report also blames corruption, weak governance in the forestry and mining sectors, lack of environmental assessment processes and weak legal and regulatory frameworks as other reasons responsible for deforestation.
It recommends that no large-scale projects must be cleared if there is risk of serious harm to the environment. It also asks for a review of national laws and policies promoting agribusiness, energy and transport sectors to ensure coherence with the Peru government’s commitment to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.
Greenhouse gas emissions from alternative futures of deforestation and agricultural management in the southern Amazon
The Amazon basin in transition