Defending Madre de Dios, Peru

Peruvian Society for Environmental Law – dedicated to integrating the environmental dimension in development policies, in order to achieve a sustainable and equitable society, and responsible citizenship
Illegal Mining - photo Thomas Mueller
Illegal Mining - photo Thomas Mueller

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The Project

The price of gold has increased over six times in the last decade. This has lead to a huge increase in illegal gold mining in many developing countries. The Madre de Dios river basin in the Southern Peruvian Amazon has been severely impacted by the increase in illegal gold mining. This activity threatens the rivers and their wildlife due to sedimentation and poisoning from mercury, indigenous people and their land, and also the forest due to deforestation. Many hectares of important conservation areas are threatened. This project aims to raise awareness of the threats posed by illegal mining on Natural Protected Areas, indigenous people and important conservation sites in order to leverage state and private action on the matter.
  • produce a documentary on the complex issue of illegal mining in Madre de Dios and offer alternatives to deal with the topic. The documentary will be disseminated through several mediums to reach target audiences
  • produce and disseminate 4 articles related to the impact of illegal gold mining on biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in Madre de Dios, and disseminate to opinion leaders, journalist and relevant decision makers
  • consolidate a platform of information for journalists at a national and international level, to provide them with information for stories
  • organise 2 workshops for grassroots organisations to discuss alternatives and potential solutions with members of government authorities and experts
  • launch the documentary, to trigger the active participation of citizens in Peru and internationally, supporting a set of recommendations required to be taken by Peruvian National Authorities and civil society organisations
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We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage