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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stop the palm oil industry's assault on the Amazon

Amazonian rainforest, upper Amazon basin, Lore...
Amazonian rainforest, upper Amazon basin, Loreto region, Peru. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aerial view of rainforest destructionPalm oil companies in Peru are seeking permission to clear 100,000 hectares of rainforest. Picture: NASA
The inhabitants of Tamshiyacu in Peru have called on us to help them protect the Amazon rainforest against plantations. International speculators have recently begun clearing the forest illegally to make room for oil palms. We urgently need to put a stop to their activities!Please join us in writing to the government of Peru
The inhabitants of Tamshiyacu, a small town on the banks of the Amazon, live on what the rainforest has to offer by farming small plots and fishing in the river. Some also make crafts or serve as guides for tourists visiting the area from Iquitos, a town 50 kilometers to the north. They may not be getting rich, but their way of life helps to conserve the rainforest.
In recent months, however, life in Peru’s Amazonian lowlands has been marked by fear and turmoil. Foreign speculators have begun with large-scale clear-cutting – initially in secret. Promises, threats and blackmail have prompted farmers to sell their rainforest plots to the plantation companies at well below their value.
The public did not become aware of the situation until September, when local papers broke the news of vast illegal clearings for oil palm plantations on their front pages. According to their investigations, Dennis Melka – a U.S. citizen – has founded no less than thirteen plantation companies in Peru.
It gradually came out that the companies had purchased 60,000 hectares of primary rainforest from the government in Loreto alone. They also requested logging concessions for more than 100,000 hectares in the Loreto and Ucayali regions. 10,000 hectares have already been cleared without authorization, allegedly without the knowledge of the responsible politicians.
Please sign our petition to the Peruvian government and responsible policymakers urging them to stop the clear-cutting immediately and prevent the planned oil palm plantations.
Start of campaign: Dec 2, 2013
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