The United States will have to obey restrictions and won’t be able to expand oil exploration in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, against President Trump’s will.
Peru, yet another oil spill is putting the Amazon at risk
Oil spills in the Amazon are nothing new. Another pipeline has broken in the Loreto region of Peru, threatening local communities’ health and the environment.
Oil spills in the Amazon are nothing new. After the latest disaster in February, a new oil spill is bringing Peru to its knees, threatening the very survival of local communities and the extraordinary ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon is turning black
During the night of the 24th of June, oil started to spill from a pipeline owned by Peru’s state-run oil company Petroperu, which carries crude oil from the north of the country through the Andes to the Pacific coast. The accident took place in the Loreto region, in the Peruvian Amazon, which is one of the planet’s richest biodiversity hotspots.
The damages of the oil spill
The pipeline was 40 years old and gave place to the third major oil spill since January 2016. The effects of this environmental disaster are still unclear. According to Petroperu, there aren’t severe consequences on the Marañón River, one of the major tributaries of the Amazon River. On the other hand, however, a local indigenous organisation claims that oil has already had a heavy impact on the coastal communities of Bagazán and Angamos and compromised their water supply.
Countermeasures are insufficient
The members of local communities detected the oil spill first, and alerted authorities right away. The workers of Petroperu tried to contain the black tide by using makeshift barriers made of leaves and branches, according to a preliminary report of the Loreto Regional Health Office. “Countermeasures didn’t work properly, as oil continued to spill affecting the lowest areas,” the report reads.
Communities have no access to water and electricity
The community of Barranca, which is the closest to the location of the accident, is the most affected. The community counts about 725 people, which are currently lacking basic services including drinking water and electricity. If oil reached the Barranca Caño creek, the main source of water for the community, the situation could get even worse.
The river becomes a threat
Watercourses on which Peruvian communities depend could start posing risks. Those who drank the water of the river are facing poisoning and rain water is the only solution available. In order to face the sanitary emergency, the government and Petroperu are providing drinking water and foodstuffs to the communities. However, nobody knows yet what is going to happen once aids have ended and which are the long-term consequences on the environment and human health.
Belize has passed legislation to put an end to all oil activity in its waters to protect the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere and boost sustainable tourism.
These are the top news stories of 2017 and the people who have most left a mark on a year that has been intense yet also rewarding from the point of view of social and environmental sustainability.
The fourth edition of the Greening the Islands International Conference will be held on the Italian island of Favignana on 3 and 4 November. The protagonists are the world’s small islands and the green economy.
The mayors of 12 cities have signed the C40 fossil-fuel-free streets declaration, pledging to fight air pollution, improve the quality of life for all citizens, and help tackle climate change.
The Canadian oil and gas company Pacific E&P has decided to halt its extractive activities in the Peruvian Amazon. A victory for the native Matsés people.
Cities are where the future happens first. An open letter by the mayors of Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and Cape Town
The mayors of four megacities have their say about the future in a letter that perfectly summarises how cities can play a crucial role in fighting climate change and creating a greener world.
People living near major roads and busy traffic are more at risk of developing dementia, according to a report analysing more than 6 million people.
Some of the most significant news stories of the year. From the Paris Agreement to the Colombian peace deal, here’s our 2016 in review: the last 12 months seen through the lens of sustainability.