Santa Clara de Uchunya against palm oil plantation, Peru

In the territory of the Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon, the indigenous community of Santa Clara de Uchunya face the devastation of their ancestral forests and rivers. This is due to expansion of a palm oil plantation belonging to the Melka Group.


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">In the territory of the Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon, the indigenous community of Santa Clara de Uchunya are facing the devastation of their ancestral forests and rivers. This is due to the aggressive expansion of a palm oil plantation operated by Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C., a member of an international agribusiness group known in Peru as the 'Melka Group' owned by Dennis Melka.  By August 2015, more than 5,000 hectares of their forests had been destroyed to make way for palm oil and those who protest face death threats and intimidation. Despite suspension orders from the Ministry of Agriculture, widespread condemnation from civil society and Peruvian government forest and agricultural ministries and a stop work order from the RSPO, the operations continue. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Santa Clara de Uchunya against palm oil plantation, Peru</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/peru">Peru</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Ucayali</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Nueva Requena</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp<br /> Deforestation<br /> Land acquisition conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/timber'>Timber</a><br /><a href='/commodity/palm-oil'>Palm oil</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Plantaciones de Pucallpa's palm oil plantation covers an extension of 5,889 hectares*. To date, at least 5,263 hectares of forests have been cleared to make way for palm oil. An independent study released in April 2015 by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project found that the vast majority of this deforestation came at the expense of primary forest. Planting appears to have started in 2012/2013; by 2015, most of the deforested area had been planted with palm oil.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">*6845.23 hectares according to MINAGRI (2015).<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>6,845</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>300-500</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2014</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/plantaciones-de-pucallpa-sac'>Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C.</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/peru'><small>Peru</small></a> - <small>Palm oil company implicated in the dispossession and depredation of the ancestral territory of Santa Clara de Uchunya.</small><br /><a href='/company/united-cacao-limited-scez'>United Cacao Limited SEZC</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/cayman-islands'><small>Cayman Islands</small></a><br /><a href='/company/la-fiduciaria-sa'>La Fiduciaria S.A.</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/peru'><small>Peru</small></a> - <small>On 2 September 2015, the same day that the Ministry of Agriculture issued the stop order to Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C., the properties (223 in total, totalling 10,392 hectares) on which the company - as well as nearby Plantaciones de Ucayali S.A.C. - had installed oil palm plantations were transferred to a trust managed by La Fiduciaria S.A. These same properties were put up for auction in late June/early July 2016.</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Dirección Regional de Agricultura Ucayali (DRAU) del Gobierno Regional de Ucayali (GOREU).<br/><br/>COFOPRI (Organismo de Formalización de la Propiedad Informal).<br/><br/>Dirección General de Asuntos Ambientales Agrarios (DGAAA) del Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego (MINAGRI).<br/><br/>La Fiscalía Especializada del Medio Ambiente de Ucayali.<br/><br/>Defensoría del Pueblo.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/alternative-investment-market-london-stock-exchange'>Alternative Investment Market (London Stock Exchange) <small>(AIM)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/united-kingdom'><small>United Kingdom</small></a> - <small>Capital raised on the AIM has been used to finance Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C.'s illegal activities.</small><br /><a href='/institution/roundtable-on-sustainable-palm-oil'>Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil <small>(RSPO)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/malaysia'><small>Malaysia</small></a> - <small>Industry body which certifies Plantaciones de Pucallpa's produce.</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Federación de Comunidades Nativas del Ucayali (FECONAU): https://www.facebook.com/feconau<br/><br/>Forest Peoples Programme (FPP): http://www.forestpeoples.org/<br/><br/>Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL): http://www.idl.org.pe/<br/><br/>Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA): http://eia-global.org/<br/><br/>Kené, Instituto de Estudios Forestales y Ambientales: http://www.keneamazon.net/</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Shareholder/financial activism.<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Self-demarcation of the community's territory.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Malnutrition, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Deaths, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Accidents</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Violent targeting of activists<br /> Project temporarily suspended<br /> Following a government investigation in August 2015, Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C. was issued with a suspension order. Nevertheless, in May 2016, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, who form part of an ongoing legal investigation into Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C.'s activities, found that the company continues working, in contravention of this order (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPU9nRilTe8&feature=youtu.be). <br />- Following a formal complaint issued by the community in December 2015, the RSPO instructed Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C. to stop work, pending further investigation. This investigation is ongoing.<br />- In late June 2016, notices appeared in the Indonesian newspaper The Jakarta Post announcing that Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C., along with another Melka-controlled company, Plantaciones de Ucayali S.A.C. (also subject to a MINAGRI suspension order since 2014), planned to sell their plantation lands through the Peruvian trust services company, La Fiduciaria S.A. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, <br />"The June 2015 sale announcement lists the offshore company “SH UOL Administrative Agent Limited,” based in Bermuda, as the beneficiary of the trust, but records are not available regarding who really owns this company. If this sale is structured specifically to evade Peruvian law or sanctions, the sale would be considered illegal, according to Peruvian environmental lawyer, Cesar Ipenza. However, even in absence of outright illegality, the trust structure allows anonymity, both of the true current owners of the properties and those who might be acquiring them."</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The community of Santa Clara de Uchunya are calling for their rights to their ancestral territory to be upheld, in accordance with the Peruvian Constitution and the ILO Convention No.169. </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The community of Santa Clara de Uchunya has not managed to stop the oil palm plantations, but the onwer is investigated. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Ley 29763 Ley Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (Forestry and Wildlife Law).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.leyes.congreso.gob.pe/Documentos/Leyes/29763.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> 'Deforestation by Definition', Environmental Investigation Agency.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://eia-global.org/images/uploads/150325.1_EIA_Peru_Palm_Report_P06-WEB.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Blog de Juan Arellano, Santa Clara de Uchunya resiste al avance de la palma aceitera<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://arellanojuan.com/santa-clara-de-uchunya-resiste-al-avance-de-la-palma-aceitera/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> 'Who will pay for the illegal destruction of the Peruvian Amazon?'<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://eia-global.org/blog/who-will-pay-for-the-illegal-destruction-of-the-peruvian-amazon" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> 'Will London Stock Exchange bar firm over Amazon deforestation?'<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2016/may/25/london-stock-exchange-amazon-deforestation" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> 'Peruvian environmental prosecutor documents Plantaciones de Pucallpa’s violation of government suspension order.'<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/rights-land-natural-resources/news/2016/05/peruvian-environmental-prosecutor-documents-planta" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> IMAGE #4: LARGE-SCALE OIL PALM CAUSES DEFORESTATION OF PRIMARY FOREST IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON (PART 1: NUEVA REQUENA)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://maaproject.org/2015/image-4-oil-palm-projects-cause-deforestation-of-primary-forest-in-the-peruvian-amazon-part-1-nueva-requena/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Primary rainforest cleared for massive palm oil plantations in Peru.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://news.mongabay.com/2015/05/primary-rainforest-cleared-for-massive-palm-oil-plantations-in-peru/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> ‘Medida preventiva suspensión de actividades agrícolas de PLANTACIONES DE PUCALLPA S.A.C. - Resolución de Dirección General Nº 270-2015-MINAGRI-DVDIAR-DGAAA.'<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://drive.google.com/a/alianzaarkana.com/file/d/0Bw-OMuvfs9a4ZHp5WFNmWW03Q0U/view" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> MAAP #26: DEFORESTATION HOTSPOTS IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON, 2015<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://maaproject.org/2016/hotspots2015/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> RSPO orders palm oil company to stop work in Shipibo territory in the Peruvian Amazon.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/agribusiness/news/2016/04/press-release-rspo-orders-palm-oil-company-stop-work-shipibo-territ" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> “We are going to kill you”: Indigenous activist’s life in danger after opposing destruction of Peruvian Amazon.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/agribusiness/news/2015/11/press-release-we-are-going-kill-you-indigenous-activist-s-life-dang" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> A video (Spanish only) recording a formal visit to the oil palm plantation of Plantaciones de Pucallpa in Ucayali by Peruvian environmental prosecutors and officials documents how the company has continued to maintain and cultivate its plantation operations in violation of the suspension order of the Ministry of Agriculture issued in September 2015.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPU9nRilTe8&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> En el territorio del pueblo Shipibo en la Amazonía peruana, la comunidad indígena de Santa Clara de Uchunya está enfrentando la devastación de sus bosques y ríos ancestrales, debido a la expansión agresiva de palma aceitera. Dicha plantación pertenece a Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C. que forma parte de un grupo de empresas controlado por Dennis Melka.<br /><br />Este video, basado en testimonios de los comuneros, muestra los impactos que sufre la comunidad a causa de este acaparamiento de sus tierras tradicionales y la lucha que han emprendido para hacer respetar sus derechos territoriales y culturales.<br /><br />Los esfuerzos de la comunidad para lograr el reconocimiento de sus derechos territoriales abarcan más de 30 años y ahora han llegado a un punto crítico. El caso legal de Santa Clara de Uchunya es emblemático, puesto que su resultado tendrá consecuencias trascendentales para el futuro de la Amazonía peruana y sus Pueblos Indígenas.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqAOMBeux6A" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> In the territory of the Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon, the indigenous community of Santa Clara de Uchunya are facing the devastation of their ancestral forests and rivers. This is due to the aggressive expansion of a palm oil plantation operated by Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C., a member of a group of companies controlled by businessman Dennis Melka.<br /><br />This video, based on community testimonies, shows the impacts which the community are suffering as a result of this appropriation of their traditional lands and the fight to defend their territorial and cultural rights.<br /><br />The community's efforts to gain recognition of their rights over their territory span more than 30 years and have now reached a critical point. The ongoing legal case of Santa Clara de Uchunya is emblematic, in that its outcome will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the Peruvian Amazon and its indigenous peoples.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ezX_psjoM" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Facebook page of FECONAU, an indigenous organisation which represents more than 30 Shipibo-Konibo, Ashaninka, Isconahua and Awajun indigenous communities in the Ucayali region of Peru.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.facebook.com/FECONAU" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Information about Santa Clara de Uchunya, a Shipibo community resisting the deforestation of their ancestral territory for palm oil.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.facebook.com/UchunyaEnglish" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Portal informativo sobre Santa Clara de Uchunya, una comunidad shipibo luchando contra la deforestación de su territorio ancestral por palma aceitera.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.facebook.com/uchunya/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Empresario norteamericano Dennis Melka -director de una compañía de cacao que cotiza en la Bolsa de Valores de Londres- identificado como financista de una red de 25 empresas que han comprado cientos de predios en la Amazonía peruana, según el reporte de la organización Agencia de Investigación Ambiental (EIA, por sus siglas en inglés). Autoridades judiciales de Lima investigan a compañía de palma aceitera, vinculada a millonario inversionista en los mercados de Malasia e Indonesia, por deforestación de siete mil hectáreas de bosques en Ucayali y Loreto.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://ojo-publico.com/44/el-financista-norteamericano-acusado-de-deforestacion-en-el-peru" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Bosque virgen deforestado por un enorme proyecto de plantaciones de aceite de palma en Perú. 18 junio 2015 / John C. Cannon.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://es.mongabay.com/2015/06/bosque-virgen-deforestado-por-un-enorme-proyecto-de-plantaciones-de-aceite-de-palma-en-peru/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Aerial view of deforestation caused by Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C.</strong> Photo credit: Mathias Rittgerott / Rainforest Rescue.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/DSC_1772.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>EIA-produced map depicting scale, location, and corporate connections of the clear-cut Amazon land now being auctioned by La Fiduciara S.A.</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Illegally_deforested_amazon_land_for_sale-FullSize_edit.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>La fiscalía ambiental y la procuraduría para delitos ambientales del Ministerio del Ambiente han tenido procesos penales en marcha contra tres empresas de palma aceitera en el Perú, una del Grupo Romero (Palmas de Shanusi, en Loreto) y dos precisamente vinculadas a Dennis Melka: Cacao Perú Norte y Plantaciones Ucayali (de la que es apoderado legal), acusadas de deforestar un total de 7 mil hectáreas de bosques en Tamshiyacu, Loreto, y Nueva Requena en Ucayali, respectivamente.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Thomas Younger</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>10/10/2016</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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