Peru on Track for Second Energy Boom

28 February 2010

Researchers have confirmed that Peru is in the initial stages of a second energy boom, according to a study published in the Environmental Research Letters Journal last month.

The study claims that Peru will soon hand out concessions covering up to 70% of its Amazon rainforest. Researchers explain that 42 out of a total 52 lots have been awarded in the last four years and most of the energy lots overlap with sensitive areas which may lead to further social conflict.

Co-author of the study and a scientist at the US environmental group Save America's Forests, Matt Finer, said that almost 90% of the energy concessions in Peru's Amazon overlap “nature reserves, lands titled to indigenous people or places where tribes living in voluntary isolation are thought to be”.

Finer believes that the recipe for increasing social conflicts is the lack of “law in Peru that ensures (for indigenous communities) their free, prior and informed consent”.

Peru's economy relies on mining and energy exports to grow. Although the Andean country was one of the few in the region that posted a positive growth in 2009 amid the global crisis, its government faces a tough opposition by indigenous groups upon the development of mining and oil and gas projects.

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    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

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    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

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