NEWS

Blood Gold, and Illegal Mining Activity on The Amazon

Camanti

Luis Fernandez, director of CINCIA

For this show, we had at the station CINCIA’s director Luis E. Fernandez. He is the Executive Director of the Amazon Scientific Innovation Center and Assistant Professor of Research (CINCIA), Department of Biology, Wake Forest University. Fernandez is a tropical ecologist and an expert in the dynamics and impact of environmental mercury in the areas of artisanal mining. During the last 12 years, he has carried out several research studies on the effects of mercury pollution in Peru and Brazil and consulted with governments of Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Colombia. Previously, he has held positions at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University, the Argonne National Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in Washington DC and Dallas, Texas.

The presence of mercury in the Amazon region has been studied since the 1980s– mainly in Brazil– due to the exploitation of gold. In Madre de Dios, gold mining has been growing rapidly since 2000; however, there are very few studies that systematically assess the presence of mercurcy and its risk to the region and its inhabitants. Therefore, the impact assessment of mercury pollution in the region has several limitations.

In this episode, we will be talking about the contamination problems on the “Madre de Dios” on the Peruvian Amazon, due to the illegal mining activity. CINCIA does research on the area and analyzes the issues in order to better answer and remedy the deforestation, defaunation, contamination of the area together with the social issues generated from mining.

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