Peru: Ultimatum for Talisman to abandon their oil explorations

Regional indigenous foundations in the Northern Peruvian Amazon had
set an ultimatum for Talisman, announcing that the Alberta-based
company was to have abandoned its oil explorations by November 15 or
face “other measures.” As yet, no actions have been taken. Talisman
has not abandoned its plans for oil exploration in the area, and the
company is claiming that it has gathered all the necessary consent.
According to talisman spokesperson Barry Nelson, the company has “the
consent and the enthusiastic support of the people who live there,”
and it went through the required steps to gather support for the
project. “We spent a great deal of time talking to people in these
communities,” says Nelson. “We have their consent, and it’s not just
one or two people, we needed a two-thirds majority, and we got it in
every case.” Andrew Miller, environmental and human rights campaigner
for Amazon Watch, says the environmental group has been working to
gather information on Talisman’s process to discover if it has met the
standards of free, prior and informed consent.

“‘Trust us’ is not a
credible posture for an oil company in a region where oil continues to
be highly conflictive,” says Miller. The region of interest, referred
to as Block 64, is located in an area of extreme biodiversity that
includes fragile rainforest and wetland ecosystems. Talisman Energy
has gained four oil concessions in the Peruvian Amazon that span 1.7
million hectares of tropical rainforest. These areas include the
ecologically significant regions of the Morona and Pastaza river
basins, which were listed under the United Nations Ramsar Convention
as one of the world’s most important wetland areas. “The situation
remains tense. Though the communities haven’t yet mobilized against
Talisman, a strong opposition remains in many of the communities,”
says Miller. “As Talisman presses forward with their plans to renew
oil exploration operations in Block 64, they continue to run the risk
of sparking conflict.”

Posted via email from Deane’s posterous

Leave a comment

Your comment