Forests in Guyana struggle to recover after mining

Mining for gold is the number one cause of deforestation in Guyana. But can these forests recover after the mines have been abandoned? New research shows that recovery is very limited in the first 5 years after abandonment, but some parts of the mine where top soils are piled up to grant access to gold deposits below the surface, can regenerate naturally. Read the full study led by Dr Michelle Kalamandeen here:

Parts of an abandoned artisanal gold mine in Guyana

Guyana leads the way for Intact Forest Landscapes


Almost 90 percent of Guyana’s roughly 750,000 residents live in coastal areas outside of the forests, which contributes to the preservation of the country’s intact forest landscape. Over the past two decades, deforestation rates in Guyana have ranged from between 0.02 percent to 0.079 percent – far less than many other tropical countries. The full article is available here…


Life after mercury

Now that a North American and European ban on mercury exports is in place, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud was quoted in the media as saying that it could be up to ten years before the local mining sector becomes mercury-free. The ban coincided with a dip in international gold-prices, indicating that Minister Persaud’s 10 year time-scale may be too little too late.

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Photo: Pete Oxford

Photo: Pete Oxford


The new reality TV series “Bamazon,” on the History Channel, along with already established shows like “Gold Rush” and “Jungle Gold,” have elevated the global mining bonanza into living-room entertainment. Each focuses on a different group of Americans seeking their fortune in distant, ostensibly dangerous locales: “Bamazon” in Guyana, “Gold Rush” in Alaska and Guyana, and “Jungle Gold” in Ghana. But while these shows claim to depict “reality,” they gloss over the most awful truths of gold mining, particularly as it is practiced in the tropics.

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