Eye on the Amazon

Trouble for Oil in the Peruvian Amazon?

Reports of oil companies leaving the Peruvian Amazon made weekly headlines in March, providing encouragement to those of us who love the Amazon and know that humanity must move away from fossil fuels. In addition to the announcement by two oil companies that they will abandon drilling projects in important oil blocks, a Peruvian court annulled a controversial oil contract within indigenous territories for lack of proper consultation.

Of course, all this news comes on the heels of a disastrous 2016 for the Peruvian Amazon, dominated by repeated reports of oil spills along the Northern Peruvian Oil Pipeline. The year culminated in three and a half months of indigenous mobilizations that forced an extensive series of agreement with the national government. At the same time, over the course of 2016 some fifteen oil block contracts ended. While oil continues to be a major threat to the Amazon and indigenous peoples, these developments might be indicative of a positive trend.