This blog is written by participants in The University of Maryland School of Public Policy Peru 2014 course trip, Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy, and Human Rights in Peru. The Director and professor of the course is Tom Hilde. Miguel Albornoz is Assistant Director.
We are traveling in Madre de Dios in the Amazon and in and around the capital city of Lima, recording reflections, meetings, and images. Participants are studying sustainable development policy challenges in Peru with a focus on the tensions between economic development, environmental well-being, democracy, and the protection of human rights, particularly those of indigenous peoples.
In the Amazonian Tambopata region, we are staying at Posada Amazonas, a research-oriented eco-lodge co-owned and operated by the Ese’eja indigenous community of Infierno in partnership with Rainforest Expeditions. We are studying this cooperative arrangement of ecotourism as an example of employment-generating, environmentally-sound, and self-managed local development, a model challenged by large-scale resource exploitation moving further into the Amazon and the recent completion of the Interoceanic Highway, which cuts through the Amazon. We study the problem of illegal gold mining in the region as a development and environmental problem. This visit serves as an opportunity to observe first-hand the natural richness of Peru and the efforts and challenges of Peruvians in seeking a development model consistent with the health of the natural environment.
In Lima, we are meeting and discussing with distinguished experts and officials from government, civil society, and academia working on issues related to sustainable development, democracy, environmental policy, and human rights.