A new study in the Environmental Research Letter finds that the Peruvian Amazon is being overrun by the oil and gas industries. According to the study 41 percent of the Peruvian Amazon is currently covered by 52 active oil and gas concessions, nearly six times as much land as was covered in 2003.

"We found that more of the Peruvian Amazon has recently been leased to oil and gas companies than at any other time on record," explained co-author Dr. Matt Finer of the Washington DC-based Save America's Forests in a press release. The concessions even surpass the oil boom in the region during the 1970s and 80s, which resulted in extensive environmental damage.

The potential impacts on the tribes and their land are "severe and extensive', says the study. These impacts include: "hundreds of heliports', "the cutting of hundreds of kilometres of seismic lines', "the detonation of thousands of seismic explosives', oil spills and leaks, new roads, and the "unique potential of advancing the agricultural, cattle and logging frontiers', all of which could be disastrous for the tribes "whose lack of resistance or immunity make them extremely vulnerable to illnesses brought by outsiders.


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