The price of gold: Illegal gold mining in the Amazon

The price of gold reached an all-time high this month, surpassing $1,800 an ounce. While most of us might see that as cause for economic concern, what you might not know is that it’s cause for ­environmental concern as well. There’s been a gold rush in the Amazon Rainforest, which is home to millions of the world’s known species and provides about 20 percent of the world’s oxygen.

In the Peruvian Amazon region of Madre de Dios, an estimated 2,000 square miles of forest have already been destroyed due to the mining of gold. Ten percent of the gold produced in Peru, the sixth largest producer in the world, comes from this region, and this is where veteran war photographer Ron Haviv and journalist Donovan Webster went to document this latest ecological threat. Their journey is the subject of the forthcoming documentary “Amazon Gold.”

For more on illegal gold mining in the Amazon, visit Amazon Aid, producers of the documentary “Amazon Gold.”

To see more of Ron Haviv’s photography, check out his website.

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.

 
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Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephanie-Cooper/100000730971279 Stephanie Cooper

    Something that is worth more than the price of gold  If you think going back to the gold standard is a win win situation. Think again There will something to lose.  If the federal debt is all you care about it might be a good idea to go back using gold as money and start mining it every were we can find it. What will be the world we pass on to our children when the health of the planet is gone.

  • Bob

    Who gives a hoot what the planet is like if you are dead…