Positioning against illegal mining that threatens a preserved area of the Amazon again

On October 22, a raft and garimpeiro dredger were sighted in the channel of the Juruá River, within the limits of the Uacari Sustainable Development Reserve, in Carauari (AM). The ferry sailed to the municipality of Itamarati (AM), where it was sighted. The region where the dredger was installed includes one of the main spawning beaches of the Amazon Turtle and initiatives for the management of fisheries resources. As coordinator of the Juruá Middle Territory Program (PTMJ), Sitawi expresses its position against this illegal exploration activity, since there is no mining authorization in the region.

Illegal gold mining raft spotted in the Juruá river channel/AM

On October 25th, together with the Juruá Middle Territory Forum and organizations active in the territory, we signed a complaint filed with the Federal Public Ministry. There are suspicions that it is the same ferry spotted in July this year, when Sitawi and other entities operating in the region filed the first complaint. look here.

We endorse the Forum, which brings together public and private organizations committed to the conservation and sustainable development of the Middle Juruá region, and other organizations active in the region. This position is in favor of defending the integrity of the territory and the security of its communities and ecosystem.

The letter was also sent to the Superintendence of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources in Amazonas (Ibama/AM) and to the Environmental Protection Institute of Amazonas (IPAAM). Check the letter in full.

Consequences for the territory

Illegal mining can have serious consequences for the environment, biodiversity and human health. It puts at risk the activities of sustainable management of natural resources that generate income and are the basis of food security for traditional and indigenous populations.

According to the Global Mercury Assessment 2018, in 2015 alone, artisanal and small-scale mining released around 800 tonnes of mercury into the air, approximately 38% of the global total, and around 1,200 tonnes into land and water.

All people are exposed to mercury to a certain degree, whether from the food they eat, the air, or cosmetics. However, inhalation or ingestion of large amounts of mercury can result in serious neurological consequences and, in extreme cases, lead to death.

About the Juruá Middle Territory Program (PTMJ)

The PTMJ was born in 2017 with the aim of contributing to the sustainable development of the territory, offering sustainable livelihoods, well-being to traditional populations and conserving biodiversity.

Sitawi is responsible for articulating the project, coordinating activities and reports, evaluating results and supporting local organizations. We seek, therefore, to guarantee the improvement in the management of extractive-based enterprises, the population's quality of life and the conservation of the Amazon's biodiversity.

In its second phase (2021-2024), the PTMJ has a strategic partnership with USAID/Brasil, Natura and the Plataforma Parceiros pela Amazônia (PPA), in addition to an institutional partnership with the Bioversity/CIAT Alliance. Six local community organizations (ASPROC, ASMAMJ, AMECSARA, AMARU, CODAEMJ and ASPODEX) are among the implementers of the actions. The program also has the support of ICMBio, the State Secretariat for the Environment (SEMA) and OPAN.

The coordination of the Territorial Program is under the responsibility of Sitawi. Learn more about other mechanisms we have developed in Conservation and Climate Finance.