Challenging Fast-Tracked Projects in Peru, from Eugene

ELAW Staff Scientist Meche Lu was in Peru yesterday, sharing her expertise with leading non-profit organizations that are assessing the impacts of a new law that fast tracks oil, mining, and other projects, at the expense of the environment and citizens’ rights. Meche was beamed in from her desk here in Eugene, saving costly airfare and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“It was just like being there,” says Meche.

Most countries require developers to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment before approving projects that might impact the environment. The EIA process provides citizens with an opportunity to weigh in on projects that might threaten the environment or public health.

In May, Peru enacted law no. 30327, fast tracking the EIA process.

“People are concerned about a lack of transparency and how the new law will impact the rights of indigenous communities,” says Meche. “For example, untitled indigenous lands could be considered ‘vacant’ and available for oil development.”

Meche and the ELAW Science Team have critiqued hundreds of EIAs from around the world. Meche provided valuable insight to the groups gathered yesterday in a presentation and interactive Q&A.

The meeting was hosted by Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR) a Peruvian organization that will present the findings to the government and call for an effective process that allows communities to have a voice in decisions that impact the local environment.

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Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide