MAAP #196: Measuring Socio-Environmental Impacts with the First Ever Illegal Gold Mining Impact Calculator

May 29, 2024

Our newest MAAP report, MAAP #196, shows the results of the socio-environmental impacts caused by illegal mining using a unique tool, the “Illegal Gold Mining Impact Calculator” developed by Conservation Strategy Fund – CSF.

Illegal gold mining has generated massive deforestation in the southern Peruvian Amazon (MAAP #208), and has contaminated the area’s major rivers, tributaries, and secondary water bodies with toxic substances such as mercury and arsenic. Thus, illegal mining generates large economic losses due to the direct impact on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and other more sustainable economic activities.

Quantifying these impacts in monetary terms has been a challenge for national authorities lacking adequate instruments for establishing economic values of illegal mining’s negative impact on the Amazon. In this context, the organization Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) recently presented the Mining Impacts Calculator. This novel digital economic valuation tool allows users to calculate the social and environmental cost of illegal gold mining in the Amazon.

These results show an economic loss of 593 million dollars for the socio-environmental impacts generated by deforestation, sedimentation, and contamination in just the short period between January 2022 and August 2023.

Read the full report here.