Target: Elsa Patricia Galarza Contreras, Peru’s Minister of the Environment
Goal: End illegal gold mining, which has destroyed 450 hectares of land in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve.
About 200 mammal species, 600 bird species, and 1,200 butterfly species are in danger due to illegal gold mining in Peru’s protected Tambopata National Reserve. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 miners work illegally in the protected jungle.
Thousands of tourists visit the reserve every single year to see the unique and endangered species that call it home, including the jaguar and the giant river otter. However, if the illegal gold mining continues, the tourists will have nothing to see. The economy of the area will deplete, as will its endangered species.
The illegal mining is not only depleting the available habitat for the animals—it is also leading to mercury poisoning in the area. Communities hundreds of miles away are experiencing the negative health effects of mercury, which is used to extract gold ore.
The government has launched several attempts at ending the illegal mining to no success. Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, or MAAP, has established a control post, but much more can and should be done to end this illegal practice. Sign the petition to demand that illegal gold mining be brought to an end.
Dear Señora Galarza Contreras,
Satellite images have found that hundreds of hectares of land in the protected Tambopata National Reserve have been destroyed by illegal gold mining. This is putting nearly 2,000 different butterfly, mammal, and bird species in danger. In addition, Peru’s citizens are also being harmed by the illegal activity and suffering from mercury poisoning.
Thousands of illegal miners work in the protected jungle. All efforts to stop this practice thus far have been halfhearted and unsuccessful. I ask that the government take more serious steps towards ending this practice that is not only damaging the environment, but also damaging the health of your nation’s citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Wilson