December 11 2015: It is 11.30 in the morning in Paris, the negotiation among the members of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) is crucial to build consensus towards a new global climate agreement, an agreement that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus mitigate climate change.
Our country has an international commitment to implement policies will guarantee "Zero Deforestation" of the Peruvian Amazon. However, this commitment is contradicted by the presence of companies such as those belonging to Denis Melka and partners, that have entered and destroyed large tracts of ancient forests in order to install oil palm plantations. Not only is this worrying because of the ecological destruction but also because this destruction is happening on the very territories of native communities, such as those of Santa Clara de Uchunya.
Environment Minister, Manuel Pulgar Vidal said in the closing session of the activities of the Peru Pavilion, "The protection of the Amazon and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples should not be a political matter" but state policy. “Peruvian companies that violate laws must be punished with the full weight of the law”, he said.
Meanwhile Robert Guimaraes, president of FECONAU said that the objective of his presence at COP 21 in Paris was to use an important advocacy space so that indigenous people could raise their voices together in "defense of the Amazon, indigenous peoples’ collective lands and collective rights that are being violated by national governments in Amazon countries”.
He added that; “at a local level, the Ucayali Regional Government, through the Regional Agricultural authority, should focus on titling the ancestral territories of communities such as Santa Clara de Uchunya and Korin Bari, and work on the extension requests of Patria Nueva, Calleria, Saposoa, and others, requests that have remained unresolved since 2008”.
Discussions continue and tomorrow when it is 6:00 a.m in Peru, the final declaration of COP 21 will be published and adopted worldwide. As long as indigenous peoples’ rights are respected, there will always be an Amazon for the World.
Robert Guimaraes – FECONAU