Famous Rolling Stone embroiled in bid to save rainforests and autonomous native communities
After visiting a luxury lodge in the Peruvian Amazon last year, Mick Jagger was officially designated Ambassador for the area and its rainforest by some of the region’s leaders. Risks to the rainforest and its indigenous communities are increasing, mainly in the face of oil, gas or mineral exploitation, but also from logging and the expanding agricultural frontier.
Some of these indigenous communities are living a totally autonomous existence without cash or contact with the outside world in areas of forest reserved and protected in law specifically for their benefit. One of these – the Nahua-Nanti Reserve – is just 100kms from the world famous Inca tourist attraction, Machu Picchu.
The large Camisea gas field is just down river from Machu Picchu and also neighbours the Nahua-Nanti Reserve. Owned by a consortium of foreign gas companies including Pluspetrol, Hunt Oil and Repsol, the Camisea gas project (the largest in Peru, providing gas for export as well as domestic industry and even automobile fuel) has recently been granted permission to expand further into the area, despite the risk to tribal communities.
Crucially, the Nahua-Nanti Reserve acts as a buffer zone to another hugely important tourist attraction, the Manú National Park which is recognized as one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. It is now feared further gas expansion plans could destroy parts of this UNESCO site.
A recent row over the proposed ‘Fitzcarrald’ site has even embroiled music legend Sir Mick Jagger, who Survival International has asked to intervene to stop the plans.
Source: Survival International and Peruvian Press