MAAP #185: Updates on Gold Mining Deforestation in the Southern Peruvian Amazon (2021-2022)

June 21, 2023

MAAP #185  provides an in-depth analysis of the most recent (2021-2022) gold mining deforestation activities in the Madre de Dios region of Southern Peru. Mining activity in this corridor, officially known as the “Small-scale and Artisanal Mining Zone in the department of Madre de Dios,” can be formal, informal, or illegal.

Gold mining continues to be one of the main causes of deforestation in this region, and in this report, a combination of two types of data are being implemented for the first time: deforestation within the Mining Corridor (a large area delimited by the Peruvian government to organize and promote mining) and deforestation outside the Mining Corridor, which represents our estimate of illegal mining.

In the two areas of study, an estimated total deforestation of 18,421 hectares (45,520 acres) out of a total of a total of 1.38 million hectares has occurred due to gold mining in the southern Peruvian Amazon from 2021-2022.

A majority of this mining-related deforestation (76.6%, or 14,117 hectares) occurred within the Mining Corridor, while the remaining 23.4% (4,304 hectares) took place outside the Mining Corridor.

Compared to Operation Mercury (2017-2018) from years prior, mining-related deforestation has approximately decreased 4.5% (866 hectares). Additionally, mining outside the corridor has reduced from 47.7% to 23.4%, while concentration within the corridor increased from 52.3 to 76.6%.

Read the full MAAP report here.