Amazon Gold Mining
OSINFOR, the Peruvian governmental body tasked with supervision of fauna and forest resources, recently released a study that determined the extent of deforestation and wetlands in the departments of Loreto, Ucayali, and Madre de Dios. In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment (MINAM), OSINFOR used CLASlite to determine how much of the deforestation in Madre de Dios was due to mining activity.
This process entailed running CLASlite on Landsat 5 imagery of the study area, validating using high resolution imagery from AlosPRISM and WorldView 2, and overlaying the resulting forest cover maps on existing maps of mined areas. From these outputs, OSINFOR concluded that 25,690 ha of land in Madre de Dios have been degraded or deforested due to mining as of 2011. About a fifth of that land belongs to timber concessions and the remainder corresponds to conservation-oriented land uses.
Of the reforestation and ecotourism concessions within the jurisdiction of DL 1100, the study finds that 20% of the land area has been taken over by mining. Of the reforestation and ecotourism concessions outside the jurisdiction of the law, the study finds that 8.4% of the land area has been taken over by mining.
Figure: map of mining activity – marked in red -- within the realm of DL 1100 (bordered in purple) and outside it (bordered in red). Timber concessions are shown in green, reforestation concessions are shown in yellow, and ecotourism concession are shown in purple.
Aside from the forested lands degraded by mining, the most vulnerable forest zones were those in close proximity to the interoceanic highway.