Posted by: ecodestination | October 14, 2009

The Peruvian Amazon, Pt. 4: But how do you stop gold mining?

As we saw in part three of the Peruvian Amazon Interoceanic Highway posts, which also discusses illegal gold mining, Peru’s rainforests are being cut down and the environment and human and nonhuman animals poisoned due to unregulated gold mining.

(Note: Let’s keep in mind that lawful gold mining is destructive as well.)

In the aforementioned post, Peru’s Environment Minister Antonio Brack said that the national government is looking to ban illegal fold mining.

But with such an extensive reach, how can illegal mining be stopped (never mind legal mining)?

We’d need some United States-style, Big Brother-type technology here.

Environmental activist Enrique Ortiz says that a Peruvian mining town near Huaypetue has quadrupled in size in the past six months alone.

“It’s just a cancer that is spreading all around, and with the prices going up of gold, predictions are not so good,” he says.

At the very least, the government would need to send a ton of guards to the Peruvian border with Bolivia and Brazil to span and monitor the entire area.

*Ahem* These guards should ideally not greet bribing attempts with a thumbs up *Ahem*

Brack didn’t even offer information on how the Peruvian government plans to finance the project. I’m not surprised – it’s not as though Peru is known for its wealth, and the region in question is about as large as Belgium (small on a map, yes, but try walking it!).

Gold mining in the Peruvian border with Bolivia and Brazil produced 10% of Peru’s 180 tons of gold output worth USD 5.6 billion in exports in 2008. The country is the fifth-biggest gold producer worldwide, and gold exports constitute its second largest source of revenue.

The Bloomberg article reporters can actually be reached at their respective email addresses here if you have any questions or comments for them.

Let’s boycott!

Hey, how about we do a little bit by boycotting gold? Let’s find out which corporations mining and selling unrenewable natural resources to us – not Peruvians living in extreme poverty and who are desperate for better opportunities – and declare war by boycotting and talking trash about them.

Spreading the word helps, looking for petitions to sign, letters to write, and so on. Whatever you can do!

Here are some disgusting corporations and companies exploiting poor nations’ natural resources and polluting them with cyanide and other poisons:

Gold mining pollution. Yummy. - Getty Images

Gold mining pollution. Yummy. - Getty Images



  1. Hi there,
    as you could see on the Flickr page, the picture you are using is copyright protected. Please remove the picture or make a small donation.
    J. Lieuwens

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