Gold!!!

Our trip to Amazonia was fascinating and meaningful. A reward for voluntary work and motivation for everything that is yet to come. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all natural wonders, such as tiny poison dart frogs and 50-meter-high jungle giants.

The images of destroyed forest remain in my mind. From the airplane, just like on the ground. Unmissable and haunting, like a car accident. While monocultures at least still retain a conciliatory semblance of “green” to the eye, the greed for gold is only reminiscent of lunar landscapes. What remains are holes in the otherwise dense forest, ponds covered with oil films and rivers contaminated by mercury. Anger quickly sets in. But to whom? To those who strive for what many of us have already achieved or were born into? To the Western world, which is asking for gold, or to heads of state who would be better off without it?

Not to forget: Corona! The pandemic, which initially had a positive effect on nature, or so it seemed. Dolphins suddenly strayed into the Venice lagoon again and CO2 emissions fell drastically worldwide. But in Amazonia, on the other hand, the all-important ecotourists stayed away. The price of gold more than doubled and with it the number of gold seekers. Wild West, so to speak. Only this time in South America.

Not to forget: Corona! The pandemic, which initially had a positive effect on nature, or so it seemed. Dolphins suddenly strayed into the Venice lagoon again and CO2 emissions fell drastically worldwide. But in Amazonia, on the other hand, the all-important ecotourists stayed away. The price of gold more than doubled and with it the number of gold seekers. Wild West, so to speak. Only this time in South America.

Intermittent rays of hope: in 2019, the Peruvian state had the largest illegal gold mining site “La Pampa” cleared by 1,200 police officers, 300 soldiers and 70 public prosecutors. The long-term value of this campaign remains questionable. Although gold prospectors have been driven out of the region, new devastation was quickly detected near the Pariamanu River using modern satellite technology.

Intermittent rays of hope: in 2019, the Peruvian state had the largest illegal gold mining site “La Pampa” cleared by 1,200 police officers, 300 soldiers and 70 public prosecutors. The long-term value of this campaign remains questionable. Although gold prospectors have been driven out of the region, new devastation was quickly detected near the Pariamanu River using modern satellite technology.

No time for resignation! Protected areas, ecotourism and the associated work for locals are creating a rethink. The same piece of forest thus provides families with a recurring income, protects them from illegality and makes them the guardians of what we devoutly admire.

So don’t be magpies, give up gold, plant trees with us and protect the unique Amazon rainforest at the same time. True to the motto:

“Preserve existing forests, create new forests!”

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