Peru Halts Mining Concessions in Sensitive Ecological Area

Peru Halts Mining Concessions in Sensitive Ecological Area

The Peruvian government has suspended new mining concessions in a key area of the Nanay River, following public outcry and environmental concerns.

Community Concerns Prompt Action

In a recent town hall in Iquitos, Jorge Enrique Soto, the General Director of Mining, announced the suspension, responding to persistent demands from local citizens, environmental groups, and Indigenous organizations. These groups have been advocating for the protection of the Nanay River, a crucial freshwater source for over 500,000 people.

Background of Mining Challenges

The concerns escalated after the Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute (Ingemmet) granted a 1000-hectare concession to Raíces Gaddaffy in the river’s upper basin in mid-August. This decision came amid ongoing efforts to combat illegal mining activities that have been polluting the Nanay River. The Andean Amazon Monitoring Project (Maap) identified over 122 unregulated mining structures in the area between 2022 and 2023.

Current Decree’s Limitations

The recent decree does not retroactively affect Raíces Gaddaffy’s concession. To reverse this concession, ongoing legal actions, including an appeal for protection and an administrative complaint filed by various organizations, must proceed.

Environmental Concerns and Warnings

Environmental activist José Manuyama, leading the defense of the Nanay River, warned of severe ecological consequences if mining activities continue. He drew parallels between the Nanay River and the Madre de Dios region, a biodiversity hotspot in the Amazon Basin severely affected by illegal gold mining.

This development underscores the growing tension between resource extraction and environmental conservation, particularly in ecologically sensitive regions like the Amazon Basin. icon

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