PROCREL organizes meeting where Gran Tierra Energy presents its work plan for the Nanay basin

Translated from PDDI

Despite the repeated opposition of the Loreto population to activities carried out in the oil lots 123, 124 and 129 currently operated by the company Gran Tierra Energy, the oil transnational continues to exploit hydrocarbons in the Nanay basin.

To address this issue, PROCREL held a meeting at which the oil company Conoco Philips informed on their progress and Gran Tierra Energy presented its work plan.

Before this meeting we spoke with José Manuyama, spokesman for the Water Committee, an organization that has been invited to participate in the event, and asked for his views on the matter.

Mr. Manuyama, there is an invitation to a meeting with PROCREL and Gran Tierra Energy. What is the objective of this? What topics will be discussed?

We don’t know exactly what PROCREL’s agenda is in this meeting, aside from their role to promote, take care of and develop the region’s protected areas. We hope their objective is exactly this, rather than favoring oil companies.

Regarding Gran Tierra Energy, we hope they read the message that Conoco left by withdrawing from the area. The population of Iquitos will not allow oil wells to be installed in a fragile area, which supplies drinking water, air, rain, rainforest and other resources to half a million people.

What will be the position of the Water Defense Committee at this meeting? What things will you propose?

We understand that PROCREL is calling the Water Committee to respond to GOREL’s (Regional Government of Loreto) policies are to protect the headwaters of the Nanay, Pintuyacu and Chambira rivers, and what measures will be taken to safeguard the Regional Conservation Area.

We also understand that the Regional Government, erring caution, has stated that there should not be hydrocarbon activities in the basin. It is assumed that the PROCREL will realize this. Moreover, as concerned citizens we want to know what role PROCREL has had in the seismic testing work carried out by Conoco Phillips, considering that this process took place amid a series of irregularities.

After reviewing oil activities in lots 1AB and 8, it is clear to anyone that any hydrocarbon, mining or monoculture work is unfeasible in the Nanay basin.

We have seen that in the upper basin there is concern relating to activities to be developed in lots 123, 124 and 129. Have you spoken with the Alto Nanay communities?

Conoco Phillips completed the seismic exploration stage, but had to withdraw because of pressure from the population. Consultations with locals were done in such a way that violated their rights and hid information.

Three Iquitos communities have not been consulted. This constitutes a violation of the OIT Agreement 169. Likewise, they have failed to consult the native Quechua community in lot 129.

Considering this situation, what activities are you planning for the coming days or weeks?

We’re starting to hold meetings in 2013 and expect this to be a defining moment for the care of the environment and the future of our children, young people and Amazonian culture. We are currently designing our strategies, which will be presented in due course.

Deborah Rivett, Sunday, 13 January 2013

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