Message #265:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Internet Access and Typewriters
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 20:02:23 -0700


From: Brian Kenny 

Information Age Rainforest - Internet Access and Typewriters

The July 17 edition of the Wall Street Journal carried on the front page an
article titled "Green Acres - Oil Companies Strive To Turn a New Leaf To
Save Rain Forest - Shell, Mobil Want to Avoid Raising Ire of Activists At
Massive Peru Project - But Skeptics Wait and See"

Interesting key points:

Working at Camisea, Royal Dutch Shell has hired a Cambridge-trained 
anthropologist and a team of biologists from the Smithsonian Institution.
Alonso Zarzar is charged with creating a development strategy for the
Indians within the Camisea concession.

The company says it wants to take better care of the environment as well as
make sure local villagers directly affected by their operations actually
benefit from them.

Big companies are coming around to the idea "that if you do things right
from the start, it will save you a lot of money and a lot of grief in the
long run," says Thomas Lovejoy, a Smithsonian scientist and leading
rain-forest expert.

Shell believes it Camisea project is "a model in the way it is taking due
recognition of the environment, local people and the government."  The
project is subject to Peru's new petroleum laws that include environmental
regulations.

Shell has pledged not to build any roads in the region.  Logistics are
managed by helicopter.

Locals believe Shell may still be polluting the rivers, but shell says it
isn't so and that people are simply getting sick from bacteria in ther
rivers. The fact that news gets around so fast in the jungle levels the
playing field somewhat between Shell and the poor villages that pepper the
riverbanks of the concession area.  
Environemntal web sites publish information usually sooner than later.

The local Indian communities have a list of basic demands for Shell to
fulfill -- promises to build a schoolhouse, provide electric power, a new
blade for the sawmill, a rice husker, a community center, a radio and an
antenna, and, a typewriter in order to make demands more formally.