Goldmining having big impact on indigenous Amazon communities – by Dom Phillips (The Guardian – October 7, 2020)

A new report has exposed the scale and impact of mining on indigenous reserves in Amazon countries as gold prices soared during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 20% of indigenous lands are overlapped by mining concessions and illegal mining, it found, covering 450,000 sq km (174,000 sq miles) – and 31% of Amazon indigenous reserves are affected.

The report, released on Wednesday by the World Resources Institute, said indigenous people should be given more legal rights to manage and use their lands, and called for better environmental safeguards.

As pressure mounts over the issue, a leading Brazilian thinktank has called for regulations tracing gold sold by financial institutions.

“The extent of mining concessions and illegal mining areas that overlap indigenous areas in the Amazon is much more significant than many people thought,” said Peter Veit, director of the WRI’s Land and Resource Rights Initiative, and one of the report’s authors.

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