Fauna and flora harmed by oil
Endangered species at Turuepano National Park
The oil spill over River Guarapiche, eastern Monagas state, in early February has been labeled by several environmental foundations as the most significant event following the British Petroleum disaster in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico due to its impact on the area and local biodiversity.
Rafael Peñaloza, a member of the Azul Ambientalistas foundation, claimed that local flora and fauna have been damaged because the whole basin of the river going beyond Monagas state and crosses Sucre and Delta Amacuro states, also suffers the aftereffects.
"Some ecosystems, no matter the amount of deposited oil, lose their environmental balance significantly. Furthermore, Turuepano National Park is near the site where the oil spill occurred, an habitat of emblematic species in the area that are likely to be damaged," Peñaloza explained.
"Such things are not easy to clean up. The Ministry of Environment reported that they had solved the situation. We think that they collected the oil, but anyway residues remain, in this case, an oily substance which also contaminates."
A simple reason: there is oil galore, would suffice to explain Guyana's actions. Another explanation lies in the little or none efforts made by the Venezuelan government to thwart the move by the Guyanese. This is certainly not a new problem, but a problem only recently highlighted because oil is involved. But what other resources does the disputed area hold? For most of us it is a section on the map with black and white stripes on it, a depiction of something distant, alien, a nothingness not worth paying much attention to in geography classes back in elementary school.