Elections in Peru have come and gone leaving the country with Pablo Kuczynski, from Iquitos, Loreto, as the new pro-extractive industry President, replacing the populist Olanta Humalla. Concurrently, 3 major treaties/actas with indigenous federations remain in force with various accords signed by all parties to implement remediation of lands and waters in the Maranon, Pastaza, Tigre and Corrrientes. Kuczynski, as a local, promised to honor and implement all agreements; albiet with still very little money (about $15 million US) to address 92 sites that all sides have agreed to prioritize with hundreds of polluted spills. In fact over 1400 sites exist spread out over a huge area of land and water--approximately 2500 square miles.
The promise of new money is vague. Peru has weak laws to sue past and present oil companies on the traditional Lots 1a-b and 8-8x (part of it now Lot 192). Settlement with Occidental oil who sold their concessions to Pluspetrol was very inadequate; environmental cleanup was not addressed. Pluspetrol appears to have limited liability.
E-Tech has begun two processes. In summer, 2016 we established 8 long-term environmental monitoring stations along with training of 120 environmental monitors in 4 river basins utilizing tools that remain with the 4 Federations we represent. 4 stations are in non-polluted areas and 4 are in locations recognized as contaminated by government agencies as well as federations. Our commitment to maintain them, presuming community leaders wish to do so, will continue until at least 2021.
On October 23, 2016, E-Tech director Dick Kamp signed an agreement in Iquitos, Loreto, Peru with Rector Heiter Valderrama Freyre of the Universidad de Amazonia Peruana (UNAP) that commits the two institutions to cooperate in attempting to develop a certified laboratory that can provide environmental analysis to indigenous communities in the region facing crude oil contamination as well as a curriculum to help strengthen the capacity of the communities to remediate oil pollution. The agreement was the result of hard work of the E-Tech team working with consultant and UNAP associate professor Duma Rengife (see newspaper article photo). Indigenous leader of the Federacion de Quecha del Pastaza (FEDIQUEP) Apu Aurelio Chino (far right standing with E-Tech board member Peter Kostishack- photo by Julia Justo) joined Dick and Peruvian government environmental fund (FONAM) directorJulia Justo (to the right of Dick) at the International Funders for Indigenous People (IFIP) in Lima October 25 to present the challenging scenario of cleaning up thousands of contaminated sites in the Pastaza, Maranon, Tigre and Corrientes river basins of Loreto while pipeline spills remain endemic. E-Tech subsequently participated in the Swift Foundation grantees meeting in Lima that focused heavily on indigenous human rights and environmental protection. E-Tech partner Meche Lu discusses legal issues surrounding extractive industry to the group (photo Dick Kamp)
In Peru, E-Tech has worked in the Loreto Region since 2005 for indigenous federations and with the national government to address 45 years of petrolero
contamination in the zona amazonica (Maranon, Pastaza, Tigre and Corriente rivers). Photographs show indigenous community monitors
utilizing the tools described in the monitoring powerpoint during summer, 2016 at permanent independent monitoring stations requested by
indigenous federations. June-July, 2016 fotos in the Maranon and Tigre cuencas.
Photos: Lucy Kamp Ricardo Segovia, Diana Papoulias, Richard Kamp
Remediation and even more, restoration of lands and waters to conditions for traditional usage will take decades. This means that to for indigenous communities to be able to oversee and actually work on cleanup and restoration, including experimenting with different appropriate technologies to do so, will require substantial investment in education, laboratories, certification to be employed, and lots of money to travel in the decades long negotiations and consultations with changing administrations. This will be a complex and evolving process.
E-Tech is working with FONAM, the national environmental fund for Peru, that manages all funds for remediation to develop funding means to pay for the above costs to indigenous communities and this concept will hopefully be fleshed out this year.
Documents for 2 day course on community Amazon Basin monitoring of oil contamination. NOTE: ANY USER OF THESE DOCUMENTS PLEASE GIVE ATTRIBUTION TO THE AUTHORS OF E-TECH INTERNATIONAL AND NOTIFY E-TECH IN WRITING EITHER PRIOR TO USE OR AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
Download the Loreto 2016 monitoring guide
Download the monitoring macro invertabrates data sheet
Download Casos de Estudio para Costos de la Remediación Ambiental en Zonas Petroleras (Environmental Remediation Cost Case Studies in Oilfield Zones) July 2016