MAAP #186: New Report Shows Increased Illegal Mining Activity in the Ecuadorian Amazon
May 23, 2023
A series of reports have shown that deforestation caused by gold mining is escalating in the Ecuadorian Amazon (MAAP #186). Protected areas and indigenous territories such as Podocarpus National Park, Cuenca Alta del Río Nangaritza Protected Forest, and Shuar Arutam Indigenous territory have been highly susceptible to these activities, which are now beginning to affect the Cofán – Bermejo Ecological Reserve.
221 sites with mining activity have been identified since February 2023 on the southeastern outer margin of the reserve. Many of these cadasters where the accelerated growth of mining activities is concentrated are still in the process of being approved.
Through the updated information of the MapBiomas Amazonía project (2022), it is evident that areas with mining activity have increased by 386 hectares, representing a growth of more than 350% within the last 5 years of analysis.
Four case studies within the area of analysis have been selected to exemplify the velocity with which mining activity has extended between 2017 – 2023. The total surface area affected by the mining of the four reported cases is 303 hectares, the equivalent of 420 professional soccer fields.