ELAW Fellow Arrives from Peru

Vanessa Cueto, ELAW Fellow

Please meet our summer ELAW Fellow, Vanessa Cueto!

Vanessa arrived in Eugene on Sunday, from Lima, Peru. She is a lawyer and Coordinator of the Sustainability Program at Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Environmental and Natural Resources Law, DAR).

“My office has collaborated with ELAW for years, but this will be my first time to work in person with ELAW team members here in Oregon,” says Vanessa, who will also participate in the Intensive English Program at the University of Oregon American English Institute.

Vanessa is working with her colleagues to protect the Peruvian Amazon and Indigenous communities from oil and gas exploration and exploitation in protected areas and buffer zones. The proposed oil and gas concessions overlap with areas that Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation call home. For example, Peru’s government is promoting oil and gas development in Madre de Dios, a biodiversity hotspot with more than 25 protected areas, including national parks, communal reserves, and private conservation areas. Citizens have been left out of the decision-making process for these short-sighted plans that threaten communities, the climate, and ecosystems.

Vanessa serves on the international board of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), where she negotiates with governments and companies to improve the transparency of the extractives sector. She represents civil society before the Permanent Multisector Commission of EITI Peru and the Ministry of Energy and Mines ‘Centro de Convergencia y Buenas Prácticas Minero Energéticas’ (Center for Convergence and Good Mining and Energy Practices). She helped draft the Peru 2030 Mining Vision and is published widely on the socio-environmental impacts of energy infrastructure, policies, and projects.

During her ELAW Fellowship, Vanessa will collaborate with the ELAW team to advance her work in Peru. Many thanks to the University of Oregon’s American English Institute for providing Vanessa with a Janet Hughes Mersereau Scholarship.

Maggie Signature

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide