The Achuar indigenous People from Pastaza, represented by the Federation of the Achuar Nationality of Peru (FENAP), has released a Public statement against petroleum activities within their territory and serious Objections against the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the petroleum project called “Situche Central- Block 64”, presented by the GeoPark oil company to the National Service for Environmental Certification for sustainable investments (SENACE). FENAP has asked that SENACE not to approve the EIS, based on their Objections (presented at Jan. 28, 2019), which are:
1. Irregular exclusion of FENAP from the influence area.
Even as GeoPark plans to develop the project within the territory of the FENAP´s community Putuntsa (at the site called “Situche Central”), neither that community nor FENAP are considered by the EIS as within the project’s influence area. This omission leads to a violation of the right of prior consultation, as was also the case when Block 64 was created in 1995, making it invalid.
2. Irregular omission of economic, social & cultural impacts.
The social baseline is full of plagiarism from Wikipediaand the EIS considers that “there is no significant cultural impact of the project”. This is an error. The Achuar people have cultural, economic and spiritual relationship with the forest, that manifest in myths, dances and other cultural expressions. They would actually suffer irreparable damages.
3. Irregular omission of archaeological impacts.
The EIS considers that “there are no archaeological remains at the Block 64”. The EIS is not signed by a registered archaeologist and is full of errors.
There are, in fact, many archaeological sites within the Achuar territory. The Regional Government has registered more than 100 archaeological sites in the Province. Over 6,000 pieces from the zone are found in the San Lorenzo Museum and the Zungarococha Museum.
4. Irregular omission of past environmental impacts from previous companies that remain without remedy, such as: perforations & polluted land.
When it rains, polluted water filters to Uchpayacu, and then to Anazo and Morona river.
5. Militarization. GeoPark’s regional base is located within the Sargento Puño military camp.This is unconstitutional and a source of conflict. In 2009, helicopters with armed persons were sent from the military camp to Situche Central, where FENAP community members were protesting against the previous oil company, almost causing an “attempted genocide” (penal accusation, 2014).