Indigenous Harakmbut leaders lead journey to rediscover ancient sacred site to connect with their cultural past and protect their future.
Interesting facts & key figures
- The Amarakaeri Reserve was formally created as a Communal Reserve in May 2002, after an arduous 15 year struggle, to help protect several important river basins, ensure the ecological stability of the land and to provide protected zones for the Harakmbut, Yine and Matsiguenga Peoples. It has been increasingly threatened by migrants in search of work in gold mines, especially when the price of gold soared after the 2008 financial crisis, and by oil exploration. The Global Environmental Facility granted $1 million to support the implementation of the Communal Reserve.
- Hunt signed a contract with Peru’s government to operate in this region in 2006. Hunt’s concession, “Lot 76”, overlaps almost 80% of the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, a “protected natural area”. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Hunt’s plans to drill eight exploratory wells, all within the Reserve was approved by the Energy Ministry in August 2013. In May 2015 they suspended activities at their first exploratory drilling platform, citing less than expected results. However on their website they describe the project as “currently under exploration”, calling it the Wandari project (which means “good earth” in the Harakmbut language). If only they fully appreciated the goodness of the earth.
- FENAMAD has tried to stop Hunt Oil with actions including two lawsuits. They brought a court action against the company in 2009, however it was unsuccessful. A motion was brought in parliament in 2013 to form a commission to investigate the irregularities of the process of licensing of concession “Lot 76”.
- There is also the threat of illegal gold-mining and logging in and around the Communal Reserve. Clearance by gold miners has been detected in the southeast section of the reserve since 2013.
- Hill (2015) Natural rockface or tribal sculpture? Peru and US’s Hunt Oil don’t care. The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2015/may/08/natural-rockface-tribal-sculpture-hunt-oil-peru
- Hill (2015) US’s Hunt Oil Suspends Drilling in Peru’s Amazon. Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-hill/uss-hunt-oil-suspends-dri_b_7561416.html
- MAAP (2015) Expanding Gold Mining Deforestation Enters Amarakaeri Communal Reserve (Madre de Dios, Peru) http://maaproject.org/2015/image-of-the-week-6-gold-mining-deforestation-enters-amarakaeri-communal-reserve/