MAAP# 44: Potential Recuperation of Illegal Gold Mining Area in Amarakaeri Communal Reserve

September 14, 2016

In the previous MAAP #6, published in June 2015, we documented the deforestation of 11 hectares in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve due to a recent illegal gold mining invasion. The Reserve, located in the Madre de Dios region of the southern Peruvian Amazon, is an important protected area that is co-managed by indigenous communities and Peru’s National Protected Areas Service (known as SERNANP). In the following weeks, the Peruvian government, led by SERNANP, cracked down on the illegal mining activities and effectively halted the deforestation within that part of the Reserve.

Here, we present high-resolution satellite images that show an initial vegetation regrowth in the invaded area. This finding may represent good news regarding the Amazon’s resilience to recover from destructive mining if it is stopped at an early stage. However, many questions and caveats remain regarding the nature of the regrowth and the long-term recovery potential of the degraded land, please see the Additional Information section below for more details.

Image 44a shows the base map of the area invaded by illegal gold mining in the southeast sector of Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. Insets A–D indicate the areas featured in the high-resolution zooms below.


Image 44a. Data: Digital Globe (Nextview), SERNANP
Image 44a. Data: Digital Globe (Nextview), SERNANP