February 22, 2013

Palm oil project soaks up primary rainforest

A major palm oil company is accused of clear cutting primary rainforest in Peruvian Amazon


A large company has been accused of illegally deforesting over 1,200 acres of primary rainforest in the province of Alto Amazonas, Peru in order to plant oil palms whose product is destined for the biodiesel market.  The initiative promoted by Romero – one of the largest of Peruvian business groups and known as the Shanushi Palms project – is also said to have forced several small land-owners off their land to make way for industrial scale agriculture.  Some of these landowners are said to have been coerced into selling their land for less than £40 an acre.

The Front for the defense and Development of Upper Amazonas (FREDESAA) recently investigated the accusations and a report with photographs has just been published by the Network of Earth Observatories.  The report states that many of the small land=owners had no choice but to sell up since their plots had become surrounded by the Romero Group’s palm oil in initiative which was implemented by their subsidiary Shanushi Palms.  According to some locals, it appears that Peruvian authorities have been facilitating Romero’s land grab in this region.

Sources: Network of Earth Observatories and AIDESEP


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