|A combination of field surveys, airborne mapping, and high-resolution satellite imaging have determined that small clandestine operations now make up more than half of all gold mining activities in the Western Amazonian forests of Peru.|
The Carnegie Institution for Science and Peru’s Ministerio del Ambiente in Lima assessed road- and river-based gold mining in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon from 1999 to 2012. During this period, gold mining increased 400%. In 2008 alone, the average rate of forest loss as a result of gold mining tripled.
Madre de Dios now supplies more than 70% of Peru’s gold production; however, mining activities remain mostly completely unpermitted by the government.
The authors discovered hundreds of new small mines in the foothills in the headwater region of the Colorado, Inambari, and Malinowski Rivers.
|While the total land loss in Madre de Dios appears small compared to other tropical regions undergoing deforestation, the study emphasized that “Madre de Dios is world-renowned for its unusually high biological diversity."|