Target: President Ollanta Humala
Goal: Save the rainforests of the Peruvian Amazon, and the countless species they protect, from destruction at the hands of palm oil companies
The tropical rainforests of the Loreto region in Northeast Peru are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. This forested area supports countless wildlife species including jaguars, tapirs, sloths, and many types of monkey. It is also home to villages and small farmers who sustain themselves by hunting, fishing, and practicing traditional agriculture. Because traditional agricultural practices don’t involve clearing large swaths of forest, these communities live in balance with the surrounding natural environment. But now, this delicate balance is under threat.
In September, 2013, conservation groups learned that palm oil companies have been clearing large areas of land in Peru’s Loreto region, illegally converting healthy and diverse rainforests into uniform plantations. International demand for palm oil has grown in recent years, because of its popularity as a health food ingredient and a biofuel. This has put increased pressure on rainforests around the world, and Peru looks positioned to be the next victim.
What’s especially alarming is that the companies responsible for clearing forests in Loreto have begun the activity illegally. Government officials who oversee the area claim not to have known anything about the project before September. However, now that the word is out, there is no excuse for the Peruvian government not to act.
Please sign the petition below to urge Peruvian President Ollanta Humala to take a hard line against illegal deforestation, and shut down palm oil growers who are destroying Peru’s forests without permission.
Dear President Humala,
Peru’s tropical forests are an international treasure and a global stronghold of biodiversity. We, the undersigned, are therefore alarmed to hear about the illegal deforestation caused by palm oil growers in Peru’s Loreto region. We understand that this unlawful activity seems to have started without the knowledge of local government officials – but now that the extent of the damage is known, it is time for the government to ensure all illegal deforestation is halted.
The international community is looking to Peru, and to your government, to be strong stewards of one of the planet’s richest forests and most diverse ecosystems. We are counting on Peru to stand up not only for the countless wildlife species that depend on Loreto’s forests for survival, but also for the villages and communities who call this region home.
Please, show that Peru intends to be a leader when it comes to environmental stewardship. Send the government in to shut down illegal palm oil operations, and bring a stop to corporate lawlessness.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ivan Mlinaric