June 2012

No oil drilling in the Amazon

2012-Jun-18   ::   (0 comments)

Achuar woman
Achuar woman

The Achuar: Around 16,000 indigenous Achuar live in small villages along the rivers and in the headwaters of the Pastaza, Corrientes, and Morona river basins on both sides of the Peru–Ecuador border. In this remote and biodiverse area of tropical rainforest the rivers and forests provide the Achuar with water for drinking and bathing, fish, animals, wild fruits, insects, mushrooms to eat and all the materials they need to build and thatch their large oval houses and to make the canoes, baskets, stools, ceramic bowls, bags, feather crowns, musical instruments and all the other items they need and use on a daily basis.

The vision which the Achuar share is to protect their ancestral lands and leave them healthy and intact to their children and grandchildren. The Peruvian State has categorised their lands as open for petroleum exploration, however in doing so it has not taken into account the vision which the Achuar share and which they have received through dreams from their ancestors.

The land and its resources are fundamental to the Achuar’s physical and spiritual wellbeing. Their territory is the source of their identity and provides the link between the past and the present. Without their territory the Achuar could not continue as a people, as they would not simply be missing food and shelter, but all the resources, material and immaterial which create Achuar minds, bodies and spirits, and sustain their social and cultural activities and memory.

Everything that is precious to the Achuar is under imminent threat from oil drilling and exploration in their ancestral territory by Canadian company Talisman Energy. The Achuar have made clear their opposition to this concession and have not allowed the companies to start any activities on their land. Despite this the Peruvian State still does not recognise the Achuar’s decision and continues to offer this, and other new, neighbouring blocks, to interested companies.

Get involved and share the video, donate or add your voice to the global petition (at the end of the Achuar website).