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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 March, 2004, 21:59 GMT
Amazon pipeline plan 'damaging'
By Hannah Hennessy
in Lima, Peru

A liquid natural gas fractionation plant in Peru near Paracas Bay
Peru hopes the gas project will boost economic growth
Opponents of a gas pipeline project in Peru's Amazon have released leaked government documents to show the damage caused to the rainforest and tribes.

Indigenous leaders and environmental groups want to highlight the effects of Peru's most ambitious gas project.

They are calling on the Inter-American Development Bank to commission an independent audit before it signs a $75m loan for the Camisea Project.

The pipelines cut through the heart of the rainforest.

Representatives of the isolated indigenous people who live there say the pipeline has caused massive landslides, a drop in the fishing opportunities and epidemics.

The leaked document comes from the Ministry of Health and suggests the project had increased respiratory infections and diarrhoea among native communities who are not used to outside contact.

This in turn had caused malnutrition and premature deaths.

Environmental impact

A leaked document from the Ministry of Energy and Mines concluded that the negative environmental impacts of the project were significant and of great magnitude.

The Inter-American Development Bank says it is committed to an independent assessment of the environmental and health impacts of Camisea.

Earlier this month it said it would delay the $75m loan while it waited for environmental requirements to be met.

Peru had hoped the loan would be signed at the annual Inter-American Development Bank meeting it is hosting in Lima.

It hopes the Camisea Project will add 1% a year to Peru's economic growth.


SEE ALSO:
Peru's Amazon gas project approved
10 Sep 03  |  Americas
Peru defends Amazon gas plans
05 Sep 03  |  Americas
Taxing times for Peru's economy
28 Jul 03  |  Business
Amazon destruction speeds up
27 Jun 03  |  Americas
Country profile: Peru
01 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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