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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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