Modifications to projects would be causing extractivists to enter protected lands in southern Peru
Extractive industry giants are advancing on the protected nature reserves of Peru's Amazon rainforest, denounced indigenous activist groups on Monday (7).
By modifying previously established projects, the companies invade protected land in Block 58, which gathers more than 1.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and oil reserves in the province of Cusco, in southern Peru. The information is the Global Voices website.
“Prior consultation is essential, as it warns communities about the possible impact of the projects on their lives,” said the leader of the NGO Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, Denisse Linares.
According to her, despite the region's wealth of natural resources and the influx of foreign investment, indigenous groups have not benefited an improvement in their standard of living. Up to 26% of the local population live in poverty, says a report by the organization.
The main company authorized to explore the region's resources is CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation), which is expected to invest US$ 4.4 billion by 2023.
Since receiving permission the Peruvian government in 2017, Beijing has acquired strategic energy assets. China also failed to comply with agreements for greater transparency in its projects, activists say.
Now, local organizations and indigenous communities – mainly the most affected, such as the Tangoshiari, Kirigueti and Kochiri – are demanding that extractive companies detail their projects in the Block 58 region.
Although China has responded to some of the groups' demands, on the recommendation of the UN (United Nations), the exchanges between extractivists and indigenous peoples in Peru have not been transformed into regional development.
Beijing has pledged to encourage the projects' compatibility with human rights guidelines. Another measure is the creation of a legal framework to ensure that activities do not harm human rights abroad.
Even so, the indigenous people claim that they were not consulted about any modification in extractivism projects – which goes against the agreement. To deal with the situation, the organizations pressure the Peruvian government to protect the rights to indigenous advice and hold companies accountable for environmental violations.