Monday, August 17, 2009

Logging in Peruvian Reserve

Recent reports suggest there is proof of illegal logging for mahogany being undertaken in the Murunahua Reserve for uncontacted indigenous group, the Murunahua Indians.

Chris Fagan, Conservation Scientist with Round River Conservation Studies (Round River), has published photographs that appear to show logging camps within the Murunahua Reserve, in the Peruvian Amazon. Fagan is reported, "All four camps looked to be active. Illegal logging in protected areas is a serious threat to the indigenous people who live in the region. Not only are these ‘uncontacted’ people extremely vulnerable to diseases brought by outsiders, but there is a history of violent conflict between them and loggers."

As well as the threat to the land and the communities of indigenous peoples in the area, the entry of loggers into the region brings with it the risk of disease with even physical extinction. An outbreak of Swine Flu has been reported in the remote Matsigenka tribe, living beside the Urubamba river in the Peruvian Amazon. The virus is thought to have been carried by boat passengers. Dr Stafford Lightman, professor of medicine at Bristol, is reported as explaining "This could be devastating, infecting whole communities simultaneously, leaving no-one to care for the sick or bring in and prepare food."

Peru's institution for Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples, INDEPA, has announced it will investigate the claims of illegal logging.

No comments: