Home Science Gold mining threatens nine Amazon countries

Gold mining threatens nine Amazon countries

Gold mining (gold mining) is one of the main causes of deforestation in the Amazon.

The new report from the Andean Amazon Monitoring Project (MAAP No. 178), presents for the first time a large-scale overview of the main sources of deforestation caused by gold mining in the entire Amazon biome.

While it usually does not reach the scale of agricultural deforestation, it has the potential to significantly impact hotspots such as protected areas and indigenous territories.

Furthermore, it tends to go to remote areas, thus impacting carbon-rich primary forests.

The report by Finer M., Ariñez A., Mamani N. Deforestation due to gold mining in the Amazon, 2023. MAAP:178 shows that gold mining is actively causing deforestation in nearly all nine Amazonian countries.

The report focuses on five Amazonian countries: Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, showing active case studies of the most serious mining deforestation fronts.

It shows a series of High-resolution satellite imagery of the Amazon case studies, highlighting recent mining deforestation between 2020 and 2022.

Pockets of deforestation due to mining were identified based on the ongoing efforts of the MAAP project, with the help of the Amazon Mining Watch portal.

The work was carried out with support from Norad (Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency) and ICFC (International Fund for Conservation Canada).

gold mining, gold mining, deforestation, Amazon

High resolution gold mining case studies

The report presents concrete cases with high-resolution maps in the Peruvian Amazon, specifically in the Madre de Dios region, where one of the most serious and emblematic examples of deforestation due to gold mining in the entire Amazon is observed.

Thousands of hectares of primary forest have been deforested (see MAAP nº 154) and the active mining fronts have evolved substantially in the last 20 years.

The report focuses on the impacts caused by gold mining in areas such as Mangote and Pariamanu.

In the vast Brazilian Amazon, deforestation caused by illegal gold mining is more serious in several indigenous territories, including: Munduruku (Pará), Kayapó (Pará) and Yanomami (Roraima).

Mining is one of the main causes of deforestation in the Venezuelan Amazon (MAAP nº 155). This mining impact is taking place in the designated Orinoco Mining Arch, but also in important protected areas such as the Caura, Canaima and Yapacana National Parks.

MAAP has been documenting the numerous pockets of deforestation due to mining in the Ecuadorian Amazon that seem to intensify in recent years.

Two main examples are found along the Punino River (Napo and Orellana provinces) and further south in Podocarpus National Park.

One of the new hotbeds of gold mining deforestation is along the Tuichi River in Madidi National Park.

Access the report with high resolution images at the following link:


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