MAPS REVEAL BIG GAS EYEING MOST BIODIVERSE PLACE ON THE PLANET

Two maps published with an article of mine in The Guardian last week reveal how oil and gas company Pluspetrol is interested in conducting ‘geological fieldwork’ in the Manu National Park in Peru’s Amazon, which UNESCO and some scientists say is the most biodiverse place on earth. One of the maps - leaked - shows two points in the far west of Manu that Pluspetrol is interested in, along with another, third point immediately to the west of Manu’s boundary. The second map - submitted by Pluspetrol to the Environment Ministry - shows the same two points in Manu’s far west. Peruvian laws prohibit oil and gas operations in national parks, while the specific areas identified by Pluspetrol are inhabited by indigenous peoples in ‘isolation’ who could be decimated by contact with oil and gas workers or any other ‘outsiders.’ Will Peru’s government issue a statement making it clear to Pluspetrol and the public that Manu is off-limits? (29-10-2015)

David Hill