Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Major Peruvian Exploration Project Suspended by Nation's Top Court

The Supreme Court of Peru has ruled that all natural resources exploration in the Cordillera Escalera nature reserve, located in the northeast corner of the country, be suspended until an environmental "master plan" is undertaken by San Martin province regional authorities.

The ruling surprised many observers according to an article in the Financial Times ("Peruvians Try to Maintain Flow of 'Water Bank,'" April 14, 2009).
Jaime Bustamente, a lawyer for the town of Tarapoto, which is located near the nature reserve, said, "Never in Peru have we seen a decision like this. It's an important precedent. The tribunal said you can't favour the immediate exploitation of natural resources, particularly water, over the life of future generations."
The nature reserve includes areas where mineral concessions have been granted by the federal government to Talisman, a Canadian firm, Brazil's Petrobras, and Spain's Repsol, the FT reported.

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