Technology NASA images reveal immense "rivers of gold" in the Amazon
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The images are stunning. Just published by NASA, the American space agency, the photographs taken from“rivers of gold” crossing large plots of the thick Amazon rainforest.
Rare Nasa photo reveals miles of Peru's "rivers of gold" in Amazon rainforest- BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld)
These large golden scars are beautiful, certainly, but also reflect a sad reality: that of the illegal and destructive extraction of gold in the Amazon.
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Here, nothing to do with rivers. These huge gaping wounds that disfigure the heart of thegold miners in the Madre de Dios region, in south-eastern Peru.
This illicit activity is usually done away from prying eyes and cloud cover generally impedes the view of these pits from space. But a thinning momentarily reflected the stagnant water of these artificial basins and an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS) managed to capture these rare pictures in December 2020.A toxic and destructive activity
The gold of Madre de Dios,mines, is wreaking havoc in Peru. Its extraction is both a plague for the local populations and a calamity for the biodiversity of the region.
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With the rise in gold prices, the poor inhabitants of the region see illicit gold mining as a means of meeting their needs. The other side of the coin is heavy, however: the mercury they use to extract the preciousSee also , in particular the natives.
A study by the American scientific institute Carnegie showed thatthe most consumed near Porto Maldonado, a town in the region, had higher than standard mercury levels. No wonder then to see that 78% of the inhabitants of the city also displayed alarming levels of this chemical element in their body, adds Le Point in a survey.
On the other hand, gold panning is gradually devouring the Amazon jungle. In some parts of the region, it is even believed to be the main driver of deforestation. In addition, this illegal activity would have destroyed about 9,280 hectares of the Peruvian Amazon in 2018, according to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project group. The equivalent of 13,000 football fields.
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