Indigenous Community goes to Lima to Present Environmental Impact Study against Maple Energy

(Leader of the Community of Canaan, Basilio Rodriguez Sanancino.)

Last week, four delegates of the Shipibo community of Canaan de Cachiayacu went to Lima, sponsored by Alianza Arkana and Earth Rights International, to meet with the Ministry Council (PCM) and members of Maple Energy, as a result of the recent protests by the community of Canaan due to environmental and human rights impacts caused by the company’s oil activities in their territory.

The delegates first met with the PCM to demand the formalization of a multi-sectoral commission that would 1. Implement a general health plan; 2. Conduct studies for the risk of heavy metal poisoning; 3. Conduct an analysis of environmental contamination; 4. Propose a plan for environmental remediation; and 5. Design a plan for food security.

Following that meeting, the community then met with Maple Energy and the PCM to present both parties’ environmental impact studies, regarding Maple’s damage to the area. The impact study by Juan Aste Daffos, contracted by the community, estimates that the damages owed to the community for negative environmental impacts exceed 13 million dollars, while the Domus study, contracted by Maple Energy, denies that there are permanent environmental damages present.

After hearing both studies, the PCM said that the studies could not be compared because they had different terms of reference. And as a result, a third economic evaluation with a new consultant, determined by the Ministry of the Environment, will be conducted according to terms of reference agreed upon by all parties.

Further, Maple Energy has agreed not to push forward any more criminal charges as a result of the protests, while the community has agreed to suspend their strike for 45 days, at which point they will evaluate if progress around the multi-sectoral commission and third economic evaluation study have been made.

In reaction to the latest events, the leader of the community of Canaan, Basilio Rodriguez Sanancino, said, “The people of Canaan are not celebrating yet. The conversation hasn’t ended. We are waiting to see what happens in the next 45 days.

Deborah Rivett, Monday, 22 October 2012

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