MAAP #137: New Illegal Gold Mining Hotspot In Peruvian Amazon – Pariamanu

In 2019, the Peruvian government launched Operation Mercury to confront the illegal gold mining crisis in the southern Amazonian area known as La Pampa (Madre de Dios region).As a result, deforestation decreased 90% in this critical area (MAAP# 130). Some illegal gold mining, however, has moved to several new hotspots (Image 1), although at much lower levels. The […]


MAAP #130: Illegal Gold Mining Down 78% In Peruvian Amazon, But Still Threatens Key Areas

As part of USAID’s Prevent Project (dedicated to combating environmental crimes in the Amazon), we conducted an updated analysis of illegal gold mining deforestation in the southern Peruvian Amazon.In early 2019, the Peruvian government launched Operation Mercury, an unprecedented crackdown on the rampant illegal gold mining in the region.The Operation initially targeted an area known as La Pampa, the epicenter of the […]


Operation Mercury: Major success in reducing illegal gold mining in Peru

Building the technology, infrastructure and government capacity needed for authorities and local communities to win the fight against illegal deforestation. Early in 2019, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in the southern region of Madre de Dios. The culprit was a familiar one, as the region has been plagued by the illegal gold […]


MAAP#121: Reduction Of Illegal Gold Mining In The Peruvian Amazon

Thanks to the support of the USAID, via the Prevent Project, dedicated to the prevention and combat of environmental crimes in the Amazon, we conducted a detailed analysis of recent illegal gold mining deforestation in the southern Peruvian Amazon. The objective is to understand the trends from early 2017 to June 2020 (which includes the first part of the mandatory quarantine […]


MAAP #115: Illegal Gold Mining in the Amazon, Part 1: Peru

In a new series, we highlight the main illegal gold mining frontiers in the Amazon. Here, in part 1, we focus on Peru. In the upcoming part 2, we will look at Brazil. The Base Map indicates our focus areas in Peru*: Southern Peru (A. La Pampa, B. Alto Malinowski, C. Camanti, D. Pariamanu); Central Peru (E. El Sira). Notably, we found an […]


MAAP #104: Major Reduction In Illegal Gold Mining From Peru’s Operation Mercury

In February 2019, the Peruvian government launched Operation Mercury (Operación Mercurio), a major multi-sectoral crackdown on the illegal gold mining crisis in the area known as La Pampa,* located  in the southern Peruvian Amazon (Madre de Dios region). Note that this area is not within Tambopata National Reserve, but in its buffer zone. In this report, we present the […]


MAAP #96: Gold Mining Deforestation At Record High Levels In Southern Peruvian Amazon

Gold mining deforestation has been at record high levels in both 2017 and 2018 in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Based on an analysis of nearly 500 high-resolution satellite images (from Planet and DigitalGlobe), we estimate the deforestation of 18,440 hectares across southern Peru during these last two years. That is equivalent to 45,560 acres (or 34,400 American football fields) in just two years. The Base Map highlights […]


MAAP #87: Gold Mining Deforestation Continues In The Peruvian Amazon

We have reported extensively on the ongoing gold mining deforestation crisis in the southern Peruvian Amazon (see Archive), estimating the loss of over 17,500 acres in the five years between 2013 and 2017. Here, we present new analysis showing that the destruction continues in 2018: we estimate an additional 4,265 acres during the first six months (January – June). This most recent deforestation is […]


MAAP #50: Gold Mining Deforests 31,000 Acres in Southern Peruvian Amazon During Last 4 Years

We analyzed hundreds of high-resolution satellite images to calculate the amount of recent (October 2012 – October 2016) gold mining deforestation in the southern Peruvian Amazon: 30,895 acres. Combining this finding with previous studies, we estimate the total gold mining deforestation of around 154,440 acres in the region. Image 50a shows the recent gold mining deforestation in red, […]