Last update:
2014-04-08

Perenco guilty for environmental liabilities, Ecuador

Description:

The oil rig Payamino 22 was operated by the French oil company Perenco in the Province of Orellana in Ecuador. Part of its infrastructure encroached upon the peasant Jose Daniel Jungal land property. This landholding as well as other properties are highly polluted. It affected the local inhabitants health as well as their livelihoods. In 2005 Jose Daniel Jungal along with other peasants reported the situation to the National Direction of Environmental Protection (DINAPA). After several inspections, this institution concluded that the two properties as well as the surrounded rivers had high levels of contamination. Moreover, it stated that the levels of noise in the area exceeded the legal limit. As such, it exhorted the oil company to remedy the two properties and compensate their owners. Perenco rejected the DINAPAs decision, so both peasants filed a lawsuit against Perenco. Finally in 2010 the Court ruled in favor of them and Perenco was obliged to remedy the area and compensate them. The significance of the case lies in the application of a principle of environmental liability in oil extraction damage in Ecuador, where there would be potentially so many other cases related to compnies like POetroecuador, Chevron-Texo, Repsol etc.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Perenco guilty for environmental liabilities, Ecuador
Country:Ecuador
State or province:Orellana
(municipality or city/town)San Luis Armenia
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2005
Company names or state enterprises:Perenco Ecuador Limited
Relevant government actors:National Direction of Environmental Protection , Ministry of Energy and Mines
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Fundacion Regional Asesora en Derechos Humanos-Inredh (Regional Human Rights Advisory Foundation)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Potential: displacement, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:It is one of few cases in which a transnational oil company is found guilty of ecological damage and it is obliged to remedy the area.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ecuadorian Constitution

Law on hydrocarbon

Law of Prevention and Control of Environmental Contamination

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Guaranda Mendoza, Wilton. Acciones judiciales por derrames de petrleo. Anlisis de casos de justicialidad ambiental. In:
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Meta information
Contributor:Sara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014
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