Amazon Oil Horror

National Park

National Park

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The latest environmental catastrophe seems inevitable as the relentless quest for oil continues in areas that really should remain untouched  The Ecuadorian government – in debt to the Chinese for $9 billion in loans – is currently planning to auction a vast swathe – more than 11,500 square miles of -pristine rain forest – to oil companies competing for the rights.

For years, big corporations have been steadily clearing forest to make way for beef ranchers –  illegal cattle ranching continues to represent a huge threat, but now oil interests could make the situation much worse, despite  Ecuadorian government sources stating unequivocally that  the oil blocks on offer will be developed under strict sustainability guidelines.

Anybody can see clearly that the companies involved will cause major devastation Рand even though the debt mountain is huge for the authorities, they should perhaps take note of what is happening in Peru, where the government has now declared a state on national emergency Рin a remote Amazon area where one of the country’s largest oil fields is located.

This is because Argentinian oil company Pluspetrol drilling operations, allied to very slack regulation by the authorities, has led to contamination in the Ecuadorian border Pastaza river basin, where high levels of barium, lead, chrome and other compounds found in the soil and are poisoning the local people. Pluspetrol has been given 90 days to clean it up, but realistically it will take years, id indeed it ever can be truly cleansed.

Alarmed environmentalists in Ecuador, alongside indigenous groups, are fighting the proposed sale, claiming rightly that Chinese auction  participation would be against both international law and green credit guidelines, but the massive debts incurred by the country in recent years need addressing, and the oil rights may be their only way out.  The price that must be paid would be catastrophically high for the whole world, but may be one that inevitably has to be paid.

Wildlife under threat?

Wildlife under threat?

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  1. Elizabeth Sheppard
  2. Tony H Leather

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