Climate Security > Illegal Gold Mining in the Amazon


the number of illegal mines mapped in the Amazon Basin, which covers more than half of Brazilian territory.

Source: Rede Amazônica de Informações Socioambientais

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Illegal exploration of gold in the Amazon has caused the destruction of the forest and lives, mostly amongst indigenous populations. Corruption, deforestation, violence, contamination of rivers are advancing in the forest region. The connections between garimpagem and security are the main focus of the article “Illegal gold that undermines forest and lives in the Amazon”, produced by Igarape Institute.
“The preservation of the Amazon forest is adamant in order to avoid an irreversible climate collapse. In this sense, the need to prevent illegal mining and to protect indigenous land in the Amazon more urgent than never.
the increase in gold mining areas on indigenous land from 2010 through 2020. 

source: Mapbiomas 2021

126k ha

total Amazon deforestation in 2021, a 65% increase over the total for 2018.
Source: Mapbiomas 2021

The Guidance note on combating environmental crime: Lessons from fighting illegal gold in the Amazon Basin lists 12 measures already in place that can be valuable for law enforcement, criminal justice and environmental protection authorities to learn from each other, cooperate and coordinate activities within and across countries.

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