Sitawi takes a stand against illegal mining that again threatens a preserved area in the Amazon

On the 22nd of October, a raft and prospector dredge were sighted in the channel of the Juruá river, within the limits of the Uacari Sustainable Development Reserve, in Carauari (AM). The ferry sailed to the municipality of Itamarati (AM), where it was sighted. The region where the dredger was installed encompasses one of the main nesting beaches for the Amazon Turtle and fishing resource management initiatives. As coordinator of the Middle Juruá Territory Program (PTMJ), Sitawi manifests its position against this illegal exploration activity, since there is no mining authorization in the region.

Illegal garimpeira raft sighted on the river Juruá/AM 

On October 25th, we signed, together with the Forum of the Middle Juruá Territory and organizations operating in the territory, a complaint filed with the Federal Public Ministry. There are suspicions that it is the same ferry seen in July of this year, when Sitawi and other entities operating in the region filed the first complaint. look here

We endorse the Forum, which brings together public and private organizations committed to the conservation and sustainable development of the Middle Juruá region, and other organizations active in the region. This position is in favor of defending the integrity of the territory and the security of its communities and ecosystem. 

The letter was also sent to the Superintendence of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources in Amazonas (Ibama/AM) and to the Institute for Environmental Protection of Amazonas (IPAAM). See the full letter

Consequences for the territory 

Illegal mining can have serious consequences for the environment, biodiversity and human health. It jeopardizes the sustainable management of natural resources that generate income and are the basis of food security for traditional and indigenous populations. 

According to the 2018 Global Mercury Assessment, in 2015 alone, artisanal and small-scale mining released about 800 tonnes of mercury into the air, approximately 38% of the global total, and about 1,200 tonnes into land and water. 

Everyone is exposed to mercury to some degree, whether through food, air, or cosmetics. However, inhaling or ingesting large amounts of mercury can result in serious neurological consequences and, in extreme cases, lead to death. 

About the Middle Juruá Territory Program (PTMJ) 

PTMJ was born in 2017 with the aim of contributing to the sustainable development of the territory, offering sustainable livelihoods, well-being to traditional populations and conserving biodiversity. 

Sitawi is responsible for articulating the project, coordinating activities and reports, evaluating results and supporting local organizations. We seek, therefore, to ensure the improvement in the management of extractive-based enterprises, the quality of life of the population and the conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon.  

In its second phase (2021-2024), the PTMJ counts on the strategic partnership of USAID/Brazil, Natura and the Plataforma Parceiros pela Amazônia (PPA), in addition to the institutional partnership with the Bioversity Alliance/CIAT. Six local community organizations (ASPROC, ASMAMJ, AMECSARA, AMARU, CODAEMJ and ASPODEX) are among those implementing the actions. The program also has the support of ICMBio, State Secretariat for the Environment (SEMA) and OPAN. 

The coordination of the Territorial Program is the responsibility of Sitawi. Learn more about other mechanisms we have developed at Conservation and Climate Finance.

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