Illegal and unregulated artisanal small-scale gold mining poses a significant threat to ecosystems in the world, including the Amazon. The threat is not only due to the deforestation and degradation caused by the activity, but from the use of mercury in both alluvial and land based mining, which then seeps into both surface and subway waterways, poisoning the water and entering the local food chain via fish. Addressing threats to ecosystems and human health due to unregulated mining requires a multisectoral approach that combines policies, command and control strategies and promotion of sustainable practices.
This webinar will present an innovative tool designed by Conservation Strategy Fund commissioned by the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office. The “Mining Impact Calculator” estimates the monetary value of the social and environmental impact of illegal gold mining activities in the Brazilian Amazon, focusing on deforestation, river silting, and mercury contamination. The tool facilitates law enforcement, encourages public policies, raises public awareness and facilitates mitigation/remediation interventions. The presentation will be followed by a discussion of the benefits and potential applicability to other countries beyond the Amazon region.