About

This blog is written by participants in The University of Maryland School of Public Policy Peru course, Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy, and Human Rights in Peru. The Director and Professor of the course is Tom Hilde. Past Assistant Directors have included Alex Bowley, Heloisa Vila, Rachel Tennant, Miguel Albornoz, and Lindsay Ahlman. Courtney Ferraro was Assistant Director for 2016. Katie Murtough is Assistant Director in 2017.

Participants study 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. We record our reflections, and post images as we travel in and around the capital city of Lima, and the Madre de Dios region in the Amazon.

In Lima, we meet and discuss with distinguished experts and officials from government, civil society, academia, and the broader culture working on issues related to sustainable development, democracy, environmental policy, and human rights.

In the Amazonian Tambopata region, we stay 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 study 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. We study the problem of illegal gold mining in the region as a development problem in that it is driven by poverty existing throughout the country, as an environmental problem as the mining destroys the forest and pollutes the rivers with mercury and silt, and as a social problem as mining shantytowns have become centers of human trafficking.

Our visit to Peru 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 and human beings.

Header photo: T. Hilde

All Rights Reserved by the authors of posts and photographs in this blog.

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