MAAP #174: Following Raid, Illegal Mining Camps Still Intact On Yapacana Tepui (Venezuelan Amazon)

Several weeks ago (on December 17, 2022), the Venezuelan government conducted a military operation against illegal mining activity in Yapacana National Park, located in the heart of the Venezuelan Amazon. This operation came just after a high-profile article in the Washington Post exposing the severity of the illegal mining within the park, including on top of the sacred Yapacana tepui […]


Our Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) featured in Washington Post

On December 6, 2022, the Washington Post published an article detailing intense illegal mountain-top mining in the supposedly protected national park of Yapacana in the Venezuelan Amazon. The authors, Samantha Schmidt, Ana Vanessa Herrero, and Janice Kai Chen, explain that Cerro Yapacana, revered as a sacred site by indigenous groups in this region of Venezuela […]


MAAP #166 Mennonites have Deforested 4,800 hectares (11,900 acres) in the Peruvian Amazon

Since 2017, the Mennonites have arrived in the Peruvian Amazon and created 5 new colonies. Here, in MAAP #166, we show that these colonies have caused the deforestation of more than 4,800 hectares of tropical forests, including 650 hectares in 2022. First, we present an updated Base Map that shows the current situation of Mennonites in Peru. Next, we detail the deforestation history in each colony since […]


MAAP #164 Tipping Point

It is increasingly reported that the largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon, is rapidly approaching a tipping point. As repeatedly highlighted by the late Tom Lovejoy (see Acknowledgements in full report), this tipping point is where parts of the rainforest will convert into drier ecosystems due to disrupted precipitation patterns and more intense dry seasons, both exacerbated […]


Swift Action Following Our MAAP Report Halts Illegal Mining in Ecuadorian Amazon

Earlier this month, we worked with our in-country partner EcoCiencia to document the rapid illegal mining expansion threatening the Ecuadorian Amazon.  With our satellite-based tools, we were able to identify the mining in real-time, and report it to local authorities, media, and the general public. Days after we launched the report, both the government and […]


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 #138: As Brazil Negotiates With World, Amazon Deforestation Continues In 2021

Brazil is currently in high-profile negotiations with countries such as the United States and Norway for international compensation in exchange for improved action to address Amazon deforestation.* While this may be a positive development diplomatically, on the ground extensive deforestation continues. We recently reported that, in 2020, Brazil had the sixth-highest primary forest loss on record (1.5 million […]


MAAP #134: Agriculture And Deforestation In The Peruvian Amazon

For the first time, Peru has a detailed National Agricultural Area Map. This unique map, produced with high-resolution satellite imagery, was published by the Peruvian Ministry of Agrarian Development (MIDAGRI) in January.* This map reveals that the agricultural area at the national level is 11.6 million hectares, as of 2018. Here, we analyze this new information […]


MAAP #133: Deforestation Continues In National Parks Of Colombian Amazon

As we have indicated in previous reports (MAAP #120), there is an “arc of deforestation” in the northwest Colombian Amazon, impacting numerous protected areas and indigenous reserves. Here, we emphasize that this deforestation currently impacts four National Parks: Tinigua, Macarena, Chiribiquete and La Paya. In the Base Map, the red circles indicate the areas most impacted by recent deforestation within […]