Peru suspends mining concession in vulnerable natural zone

concesión minera suspendida en Perú

Inspenet, November 28, 2023.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) of Peru has issued a supreme decree establishing a 12-month suspension for all types of mining concessions in the vicinity of the Nanay River basin, a tributary of the Amazon River located in the department of Loreto. , the northernmost in the country.

The Nanay River is part of the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, a region that is home to delicate ecosystems, such as the white sand chamizal and stand forests that belong to the Napo Ecoregion, and various species of endemic flora and fauna.

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The general director of Mining of the ministry, Jorge Enrique Soto, communicated this decision during a public assembly in the city of Iquitos, organized by the Popular Commission of Congress. Soto explained that the measure responds to repeated requests from citizens, environmental organizations, indigenous communities and local authorities, who have expressed the need to protect the Nanay River, a source of fresh water for more than half a million people.

The demands originated in August, when the Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute (Ingemmet) granted the local company Raíces Gaddaffy a mining concession of 1,000 hectares in the upper basin of the river. The approval of legal operations disconcerted the population of Loreto, who has been fighting for years to eradicate illegal mining that pollutes the Nanay River.

According to the Andean Amazon Monitoring Project (Maap), more than 122 unregulated mining structures were identified in the area between 2022 and 2023. Despite this, the recent decree will not retroactively affect the concession granted to Raíces Gaddaffy . To reverse the concession, other mechanisms must be used, such as the appeal for protection and the administrative complaint, which have already been filed by several organizations against the company.

If we allow this activity to take place, as is already happening in the Nanay, the river will disappear and we will also be condemned. More than half a million people in Iquitos will also disappear“said José Manuyama, an environmental activist who leads actions in defense of the Nanay River, at the town hall. “ As the images show, the Nanay River is beginning to look like the new Mother of God .”

Located in the Amazon basin in southeastern Peru, Madre de Dios is a region of tropical biodiversity that has long been affected by illegal gold mining in its rivers.

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