Eco Truckee Tahoe meets Peruvian environmental protection officials
FEBRUARY 26, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Eco Truckee Tahoe (EcoTruckee.org – Facebook.com/EcoTruckeeTahoe) founder and editor Ted Lipien met Friday, February 26, 2016, in Reno, NV with a delegation of Peruvian environmental protection officials visiting the United States under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
In a meeting at the University of Nevada, Ted Lipien and Peruvian visitors discussed the role independent media in small U.S. communities can play in conducting investigative reporting on environmental issues to alert local residents to ecological problems.
Unbiased media monitoring of activities by government officials, NGOs, and businesses was presented as essential in small communities even if there are strong national and state laws protecting the environment and non-local environmental issues are covered by national and regional media.
Ted Lipien briefed the group on controversial Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe Ridge development plans. He discussed with visiting Peruvian environmental protection officials local concerns about overdevelopment, including traffic congestion, water supplies, air and noise pollution, and other environmental and quality of life issues of local residents of the Truckee Tahoe region. According to Ted Lipien, without independent media in small communities, many serious ecological problems and tendency of some local officials to tolerate violations of environmental laws that would not be tolerated at a national or regional level can be hidden from the public. In some cases, local governments, businesses and even some NGOs can benefit financially from development harmful to the environment through more tax revenues, profits, and questionable donations to NGOs to limit public criticism, Lipien told the group.
Peruvian environmental protection officials are visiting the United States at the invitation of the U.S. State Department to understand U.S. environmental enforcement policy and the overlapping mandates between federal and state entities. The group is focusing on the importance of involving the public when making natural resource decisions and when implementing enforcement mechanisms. They are also studying control and monitoring of environmental protection measures, especially efforts to combat illegal logging or mining on protected U.S. land.
The Peruvian delegation includes Julio ALARCON CANCHARI Head of Investigation, Crimes against Environment in Junin Region (VRAEM); Ms. Katherine Andrea MELGAR TAMARA, Legal Adviser, Agency of Environmental Assessment and Enforcement; Ms. Maria Cristina SANCHEZ CAMINO, Lawyer, the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement (Organismo de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental, OEFA); Ms. Karina TAFUR ASENJO, Legal Specialist, Hydrocarbons Coordination, Environmental Evaluation and Monitoring Organism; and Ms. Flor VEGA ZAPATA, Coordinator, Peruvian Environmental Prosecutor’s Office, National Prosecutor’s Office.
Ted Lipien is a journalist, internationally published writer and media freedom nonprofit NGO director. He founded Eco Truckee Tahoe after moving to the Truckee Tahoe area in 2010.
His articles have appeared in The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, National Review, American Diplomacy Journal and in other newspapers and magazines. His investigative journalism work has been noted by NPR, Fox News, Congressional Record, The Washington Post, The New York Times and other publications. Much of his previous work as a former Voice of America journalist and former VOA acting associate director focused on Soviet and post-Soviet states. He is the author of “Wojtyla’s Women: How They Shaped the Life of Pope John Paul II and Changed the Catholic Church,” (London: O-Books, 2008)