On September 13, Talisman Energy announced its decision to cease oil exploration activities in the Peruvian Amazon and to exit the country upon completion of ongoing commercial transactions.“We have fought long and hard against Talisman’s drilling in our territory because of the negative environmental and social impacts we have seen from oil drilling around the world,” said Peas Peas Ayui, President of the National Achuar Federation of Peru (FENAP). “Now that Talisman is leaving we can focus on achieving our own vision for development and leave a healthy territory for future generations.”
Amazon Watch has been supporting the Achuar since 2004, when Talisman began exploratory operations in the heart of Achuar territory in an extremely bio diverse region of the Amazon rainforest. In recent years Talisman has come under increased pressure by human rights groups and shareholders for operating without Achuar consent. Talisman is the fifth oil company to withdraw from controversial Block 64.
Despite Talisman’s claim of attaining local support from communities and signing good neighbor agreements with 66 communities downriver from their operations, the company never had the consent of the majority of communities living within Block 64. Talisman first invested in Peru one year after leaving Sudan and became sole operator in 2007, shortly after John Manzoni’s appointment as CEO. Manzoni was replaced by ex-TransCanada CEO Hans Kvisle on Monday this week.
“We are the owners and the original people of this land,” said Peas Ayui. “No outside person or company may enter our territory by force, without consultation and without asking us. We have been fighting against oil development on our land for 17 years and we maintain the same vision to protect our territory and resources for future generations. Let this be a clear message to all oil, mining and logging companies: we will never offer up our natural wealth so that they can extract our resources and contaminate our land.”
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