The biggest attack on the Amazon in 50 years has begun

Brazil has just opened a massive area of the rainforest up to mining. A formerly protected national reserve with the size of Denmark, which is home to several indigenous tribes, has been officially abolished and will be turned over to mining interests.

Sadly, deforestation resulting from mining gold, copper, iron and other valuable metals and minerals is incredible destructive and harmful to wildlife. Yet as time goes on more mining projects, both illicit and government sanctioned threaten even greater destruction of the earth’s most precious resource.

Peru has recently stated that mining continues in spite of efforts to crack down on illegal mines, and the problem is getting worse throughout the continent. A team of scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science found that, between 1999 and 2016, gold mining expansion cost the region 4,437 hectares (10,964 acres) of forest loss per year. Miners were working an area in 2016 that was 40 percent larger than it was in 2012.

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