Peru: UN tell Peru to ask for drilling consent


The news from Peru continues to unravel and in the latest installment the UN have instructed Peru's government to get "informed consent" from indigenous people prior to drilling.

It's depressing to see one of the world's last great forests being used as a political and financial football but the UN's involvement is hopefully a positive step in the resolution of this verbal and physical conflict.

The UN's Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which sat between the 3rd and 28th of August published its findings on Monday. The escalating situation in Peru, which has seen violent conflict, has led to this new UN involvement and delegations from Peru's government and other Peruvian organisations appeared before the committee during the August sessions.

Traditionally the mineral resources of the forest have belonged to the indigenous people but the country's state energy company, Perupetro, wants to auction off huge areas of land to international exploration companies. The government have also consistently denied the presence of uncontacted tribes in the forest.

Survival International, who champion indigenous rights, are delighted by this call that would end the drilling in lands occupied by uncontacted tribes as, by default, they would not be able to give their consent.

Survival International's director, Stephen Corry, said: "We urge President Garcia to put an end, once and for all, to its policy of carving up the Amazon without the consent of the people who actually live there."

The news from Peru is not all bad. Yesterday we reported on the successful establishment of the new Matsés National Reserve, which will protect one million acres of Peruvian Amazon due to the efforts of the World Land Trust-US and their partner CEDIA (Center for the Development of the Indigenous Amazonians). This huge tract of land has exceptional biodiversity value and is home to the Matsés people.

picture of tribal people in a procession

Matsés men in procession / WLT-US