Tag Archives: rainforest

Peru Spares Amazon Rainforest From Oil And Gas Push

16 May

Ashanika warriors occupy oil boat in the Peruvian Amazon, May 2009

Cross Posted From Root Force

This article from the Guardian shows why indigenous movements have fought so hard for Peru’s new law requiring extractive industry to consult with affected indigenous communities, why industrial interests have so consistently opposed, and why mining companies pushed so hard for the recent decision that excluded millions of indigenous Peruvians from that law’s protection. Note, of course, that the oil company is making it clear that they will still go ahead with exploiting indigenous lands whether the affected communities like it or not. We’ll see what the communities have to say about that.

Peru spares Amazon rainforest from oil and gas push

New hydrocarbon sites will all be offshore, but campaigners fear contentious oil and gas development in Amazon will still go ahead

Peru has announced a bidding round for new oil and gas concessions but, contrary to what was initially expected, none of them are in the Amazon rainforest.

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Ecuador to Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest to Chinese Oil Companies

3 Apr

Ecuador is planning to auction off three million of the country’s 8.1 million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian reports.

The report comes as oil pollution forced neighboring Peru to declare an environmental state of emergency in its northern Amazon rainforest.

Ecuador owed China more than $7 billion — more than a tenth of its GDP — as of last summer. Continue reading

Extinction Explosion

21 Aug

Considered by many to have an intelligence that rivals humankind’s and otherworldly transformative evolution powers, the cuttlefish is among creatures slated for death in a sudden mass extinction of the worlds’ oceans.

Teetering on the dire precipice between existence and annihilation, time is running out for the Royal Bengal tiger, the Great White shark, and Victorian koalas.

There are reports that species in Brazil’s coastal rainforest are disappearing faster than scientists  can keep track of them. This is owed in part to the ripple effect of extinction, creatures toppling off the planet in a chain reaction.

But perhaps the most brutal and rapid decline is coming for the world’s oceans, with scientists predicting a cataclysmic period of mass extinction currently upon us, the ramifications for which will in turn be our own demise. From 1900-2010, freshwater fish species in North America went extinct at a rate 877 times faster than the rate found in the fossil record, while estimates indicate the rate may double between now and 2050.

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Most Biodiverse Place on Earth Could Open for Oil Exploration

23 Sep

A new map highlights the importance of conserving Yasuni National Park as the most biodiverse ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere, and maybe even on Earth. Scientists released the map to coincide with the United National General Assembly in support of a first-of-its-kind initiative to save the park from oil exploration through international donations. Known as the Yasuni-ITT Initiative, the plan, if successful, would protect a 200,000 hectare bloc in Yasuni National Park from oil drilling in return for a trust fund of over $3 billion.

“The map indicates that Yasuni National Park is part of a small, unique zone with the maximum biological diversity in the Western Hemisphere,” explained Clinton Jenkins, lead designer of the map and Research Scholar at North Carolina State University, in a press release.

The map shows that eastern Ecuador (the location of Yasuni) and northeastern Peru have the highest number of species in the hemisphere based on data on birds, mammals, amphibians, and plants. To highlight this point, researchers have found more tree species (655 to be exact) in a single hectare in Yasuni than in all of the US and Canada combined. Yasuni also contains the highest biodiversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world with 271 species. But bugs may win the day yet: according to entomologist Terry Erwin, a single hectare of rainforest in Yasuni may contain as many as 100,000 unique insect species. This estimate, if proven true, is the highest per unit area in the world for any taxa, plant or animal.

Oil is currently Ecuador’s biggest exporter and the nation’s economy remains largely dependent on the fossil fuel. But oil has also brought the nation trouble with pollution, disease, forest destruction, and conflict with indigenous people.

Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, has said that if the fund does not receive its first $100 million by this December, he will cancel the initiative and oil drilling will proceed.

To see the map and read the full article click here


Bolivians march against development plan

17 Aug

Reposted from Al Jazeera

Bolivian indigenous activists have started a long protest march from the Amazon plains to the country’s capital in against a government plan to build a 306km highway through a national park in indigenous territory.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has gained notoriety as an environmentally friendly leader and Bolivia’s first indigenous-identified president, which is significant for many locals because the country has a higher per capita indigenous population than any other Latin American country.

Less than a year ago, Morales told Al Jazeera that he is opposed to environmentally destructive development practices that are common in ‘indistrialised’ countries.

“[Those practices are] leaving the world without ecology. I called it ecolocide, which will lead to genocide,” he said.

Organisers of the march have said that they are reacting Morales’ hypocritical stance on climate change and environmentalism, pointing to his promoting of natural gas development and oil exploration.

“Morales isn’t a defender of Mother Earth. His rhetoric is empty,” said Rafael Quispe, leader of the main indigenous organization in Bolivia’s highlands, Conamaq.

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