The Peruvian state is failing to protect its vast Amazonian rainforest and instead has awarded concessions of large parts of the jungle for natural resource extraction, a new report by an environmental non-profit organization shows.
From 2004 to 2010, which included the administrations of presidents Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006) and Alan Garcia (2006-2011), the area of Peru’s rainforest that is under concession has skyrocketed.
A study by the Amazonian Network of Socio-Environmental Information (Raisg) says that 75 percent of the Peruvian Amazon was under concession in 2010, compared to 15 percent in 2004, daily El Comercio reported. The rainforest is being exploited for mining, logging and oil and gas production.
“The Peruvian state, rather than protect the Amazon, promotes extractive activities,” said Richard Smith, the executive director of Peru’s Instituto del Bien Comun (Institute for Common Good), which is a member of Raisg.
Smith said that from 2000 to 2010, Peru has lost more than 1.5 million hectares of rainforest, considered one of the most biologically-diverse places on earth. Deforestation of the Amazon is seen as playing a major role in global climate change.
“It is clear the concerning and accelerated growth in the deforestation, which makes it indispensible to curb its uncontrollable advance,” Smith said.