Mining in Protected Areas Grew 300% in The Last Decade

In Indigenous lands, the increase was 495%, shows MapBiomas Mineração

São Paulo

Mining in conservation areas and on Indigenous lands has exploded in the last ten years. In the conservation areas, there was a 301% jump in the exploitation area from 2010 to 2020, and in indigenous territories, 495%.

Mining in these protected areas is heavily concentrated in the Amazon, which has shown annual increases in deforestation. The biome concentrates 72% of the country's mined area.

Around 40% of the mining area in 2020 was within conservation areas, and 9% on protected Indigenous lands, show unprecedented data from MapBiomas Mineração.

Mining in conservation areas and on indigenous lands is prohibited.

The leading environmental protection unit in the mining area in its interior is the Tapajós Environmental Protection Area, which is for sustainable use. The top 10 includes three national parks, which are fully protected areas. They are: Rio Novo swamp, Jamanxim swamp and Mapinguari swamp.

"What struck us was the expansion of the mined area," says Pedro Walfir, a professor at Federal University of Pará and coordinator of mining mapping at MapBiomas. "And when we cross that information with indigenous lands and conservation areas, we are surprised by the size of the region mined in prohibited areas."

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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