An illustration of the threat to the Amazon rainforest, a small slice of which the Size of Herefordshire is trying to protect, has come with the news that a state oil pipeline has ruptured in the territory of the Wampis people. It's their land that we are trying to help them protect.
The pipeline is run by Peru's state oil company, and it appears that sheer neglect of the corrosion of the pipeline lead it to rupture last month, spilling oil into the Cashacano river along both banks, the contamination then flowing into the much larger River Morona, spreading downstream for one and a half hours travel time. The spill has severely affected both rivers and the subsistence livelihoods of the native communities who live there.
The spill has followed an earlier spill, on January 25, from the same pipeline.
Now the Wampis people, through their governing body, are demanding that sanctions are issued against Petroperu, that a robust plan be put into effect to control and clear up the spill and to help the affected communities with food and water. They've also demanded an end to pumping on the whole northern branch of the pipeline.
What should spur the Size of Herefordshire onwards is the simple knowledge that the donations we funnel through to the Wampis people via the Forest Peoples Programme, is greatly strenghtening the ability of the Wampis to protest, to fight and ultimately to protect this huge 1.3 million hectares of Amazon rainforest.
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