WHAT WILL ECUADOR'S GOVT DO ABOUT GOLD MINING IN THE AMAZON?

The imaged attached to my Tweet today - credited to Amazon Frontlines/Nicolas Mainville - shows just how quickly gold-miners can move and how much destruction can be wrought in a couple of weeks. The area in question is the left bank of the River Aguarico in Sucumbios province in Ecuador’s Amazon - a truly stunning part of the world. As I recently reported in The Guardian, these miners are operating within an apparently legal concession, but A'I Cofan indigenous people, supported by NGOs Alianza Ceibo and Amazon Frontlines, suspect the miners have no environmental license, have been operating just outside their concession, and could be using mercury, which could have catastrophic consequences for the A'I Cofan who live roughly an hour downriver in a village called Sinangoe. The A'I Cofan were visibly shocked when I visited this mining site with them in March, but in just a couple more weeks even more forest has been cleared and riverbank destroyed. Despite promises by Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno that there will be no new mining concessions, this concession was awarded in January 2018. (23-04-2018)

David Hill