Peru Shares RAMI Technology and Training Against Illegal Mining with Brazil

April 27, 2023

Experts from Conservación Amazónica – ACCA in Peru hosted a training workshop in the use of the RAMI (Radar Mining Monitoring) tool at an event with the goal of building capacity and transferring technology to specialists in environmental monitoring at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS) in the Brazilian state of Pará.

Peruvian and Brazilian monitoring teams during the workshop.

The main objective of the training workshop held this past April 12-14 was to replicate Peru’s gold mining monitoring system in Brazil’s Tapajós River basin, located in Pará, using detection with radar images. In addition, it focused on improving SEMAS staff’s capacity to use free and open-source resources to process large amounts of data using the Google Earth Engine platform.

Conservación Amazónica – ACCA’s Director of GIS and Conservation Technology Sidney Novoa highlighted the similarities between Brazil’s and Peru’s territories, such as the presence of Indigenous territories, conservation and environmental protection areas, and national parks, which at times overlap with miners’ rights and mining licenses, generating land and resource conflicts. Because of these similarities, valuable lessons learned in Peru related to the implementation of monitoring technology may also be applicable in the Tapajós region. In addition, Sidney added that the technology transfer used to fight illegal mining in Peru was made possible thanks to the support of the Institute of Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (IMAFLORA), which works closely with authorities from Brazil’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS) who have also hired a local specialist to adapt the methodology to the region’s needs.

The RAMI tool, developed through a collaboration between Peruvian experts from Conservación Amazónica – ACCA and SERVIR-Amazonia, is a new geospatial technology tool that has been successfully implemented in the Madre de Dios region of Peru to help detect illegal gold mining activities. During the recent training workshop, our monitoring specialists shared their knowledge about RAMI’s programming language, data interpretation, and data qualification with the Brazilian environmental monitoring specialists.

Sidney Novoa shares Madre de Dios’s experience with implementing RAMI.

SEMAS Secretary Mauro O’de Almeida explained that the Tapajós region was chosen for the RAMI operation because of the high levels of illegal gold mining activity. He hopes that this tool will help address the problem of illegal mining, which is a major challenge for environmental management in Pará and negatively impacts the region’s economy and natural resources.

RAMI will be a critical tool in reinforcing SEMAS’s environmental control and monitoring strategy by helping combat illegal mining, supervising licensed companies, and protecting the environment and communities that depend on these natural resources. In addition, this technology will be shared with other federal agencies in Pará to strengthen the fight against illegal mining and help ensure the sustainability of the Amazon.

RAMI is implemented by Conservación Amazónica – ACCA thanks to support of the SERVIR-Amazonia, a program developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for Development International (USAID).