At the Second Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Geneva, Switzerland, a report was published that shows the dangers of mercury contamination throughout the Amazon.
The document seeks to reduce the use of this material in small artisanal gold mining. With the intention of protecting the largest river system in the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published recent research that has classified mercury as "one of the ten chemicals that pose the greatest public health concern". It is estimated that it has affected more than one and a half million people in the world. the region. This material would be putting life at risk. This is because the contamination of water, air and poisoning of plants and animals would intensify it.
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining is the main source of mercury contamination in the Amazon.
Gold extracted by hand is 15%, mercury is used to purify gold. This activity is responsible for 71% of all mercury emissions per year.
"Unfortunately, the crisis of mercury contamination in the Amazon is widely ignored despite growing evidence of the dangers it poses to people and wildlife along the river system," said Jordi Surkin, Director of the Coordination Unit. Amazonian WW
"In addition, the most vulnerable victims are indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as thousands of unique species."
The Amazon is considered one of the places with the greatest biodiverity on the planet, but it is not alien to pollution, and one of the worst; that of mercury, which is seriously endangering the food sustainability of several indigenous and urban communities, without counting the incalculable damage to the fauna and flora of the place.
The report was presented with the intention of inviting governments, gold buyers, consumers and miners to review extraction practices and correct them so that this unbridled use of mercury in the Amazon is not given.
It is necessary that governments offer new opportunities to miners to adopt alternative means to live sustainably with the jungle.
To monitor and promote environmental actions in the Amazon, WWF promoted the creation of the Regional Alliance for a Mercury Free Amazon. This alliance seeks to unite all the sectors involved and create the path that will develop clear and effective ways of action in the fight against the destruction of the Amazon.