At the end of last year, the public sector body OSINFOR, a key organisation in monitoring illegal logging, was moved from its adscription to the Council of Ministers to the Environment Ministry, a move initiated by the previous government and interpreted by some as a reaction to the organisation’s inconvenient effectiveness, and opposed by the United States as against the TPA. This agreement requires autonomy in such monitoring organisations. Four months later, it has been moved back to the PCM, presumably in response to US pressure.
In the meantime its sojourn at the Minam saw some achievements in procedure. The requirement for its chief to be selected by public tender was activated for the first time, and DAR was selected as representative of civil society. DAR (Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), is an NGO formed in 2004 with extensive work in the Amazon.
An article by Hugo Che Piu, vice-president of DAR, insists that the many criticisms made of OSINFOR all belong to its ten years under the PCM, and that much more fundamental issues are what matter in giving OSINFOR true autonomy – starting with resources. Collaboration between agencies is, DAR reckons, an important element in effective policy.
The issue is too urgent and too important to die a death in the muddy waters of civil service reform. It needs strong inter-ministerial collaboration right now to effect serious control of illegal logging and deforestation.