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The illegal La Pampa gold mine, seen here in 2017, has devastated the Peruvian Amazon and spread poisonous mercury. Planet Labs

Unprecedented New Map Unveils Illegal Mining Destroying Amazon

A first-of-its-kind map has unveiled widespread environmental damage and contamination of the Amazon rainforest caused by the rise illegal mining.

The survey, released Monday by the Amazon Socio-Environmental Geo-Referenced Information Project (RAISG), identifies at least 2,312 sites and 245 areas of prospecting or extraction of minerals such as gold, diamonds and coltan in six Amazonian countries—Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. It also identified 30 rivers affected by mining and related activities.

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The Stikine River runs through Wrangell, Alaska. Mining operations nearby threaten to poison fish in the Stikine watershed and destroy the traditions and livelihoods of Southeast Alaskan Tribes. Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Canada as Ugly Neighbor: Mines in BC Would Devastate Alaskan Tribes

By Ramin Pejan

Mining operations in Canada are threatening to destroy the way of life of Southeast Alaskan Tribes who were never consulted about the mines by the governments of Canada or British Columbia.

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Politics
Jair Bolsonaro during a speech on Feb. 2, 2017. Marcelo Camargo / Agência Brasil Fotografias / CC BY 2.0

Brazil’s New President Could Spell Catastrophe for the Amazon, Indigenous Rights and Global Climate

Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro, whose hostile campaign rhetoric has earned him comparisons to U.S. President Donald Trump, won Brazil's presidential election Sunday, a development that has raised concerns about the future of human rights and environmental action in the world's sixth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, CNN reported.

Like Trump, Bolsonaro has made homophobic, sexist and racist statements and emboldened right wing groups who share his views.

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Climate
San Juan National Forest. Scrubhiker (USCdyer) / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Trump Plan to Ramp Up Fracking, Mining in National Forests Threatens Climate

The Trump administration's plan to make it easier for industry to frack and mine in national forests would endanger the climate, wildlife and watersheds, the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation groups said in comments submitted Monday to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Cement Creek at Silverton, CO. The region downstream from the Gold King Mine has been an area of extensive USGS water quality research. U.S. Geological Survey

Pruitt Proposes Weakening EPA's Power Over Water Polluters

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt on Wednesday proposed another way to weaken U.S. environmental regulations protecting the nation's waterways from pollution.

In a memo dated June 26 but released June 27, Pruitt asked the EPA's Office of Water and Regional Administrators to draft a proposal that would restrict the agency's ability to revoke permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) allowing projects to dispose of dredged or fill material in rivers, streams and other waterways, The Hill reported.

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Aerial view of the Auyán Tepuy and the Caroni River in Venezuela. Luis Ovalles / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA

Why Global Environmentalists Are Silent on Venezuela’s Mining Crisis

By Isaac Nahon-Serfaty

Venezuela is on a path towards environmental devastation.

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Animals
Snowshoe hares near the now closed Giant Mine outside of Yellowknife, N.W.T show signs of arsenic contamination. Denali NPS / Flickr / CC BY-SA

Toxic Leftovers From Giant Mine Found in Snowshoe Hares

By Som Niyogi and Solomon Amuno

Even though it was closed decades ago, the Giant Mine on the outskirts of Yellowknife has left a long environmental legacy.

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The Green Case for Celebrating Screen-Free Week

This week, from April 30 to May 6, communities around the world are celebrating Screen-Free Week. Screen-Free Week is an annual event in which "children, families, entire schools and communities will rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen," according to the website. The week encourages participants to step away from digital sources of entertainment like video games, TVs, smartphones, tablets and computers and focus on other activities like reading, playing and enjoying meals with family and friends.

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Activists in Peru protesting the Conga mining project. Amnesty International

Environmental Leaders Under Threat in Paraguay and Peru, Amnesty Reports

Authorities in Paraguay and Peru are unjustly criminalizing activists who speak out to protect their environment and land, an Amnesty International report released Thursday revealed.

The report, A Recipe for Criminalization: Defenders of the Environment, Territory and Land in Peru and Paraguay, outlined the three "ingredients" both countries use to undermine the efforts of activists. First, they delegitimize activists through smear campaigns. Second, they apply laws and regulations that allow for forced evictions. And, third, they misuse the criminal justice system to prosecute activists for unfounded reasons.

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