Every day, the Amazon Rainforest is under attack from illegal gold mining. Peruvian Minister of the Environment Antonio Brack works to design and execute government policies on the environment in a country that has so many natural resources disappearing at an alarming rate.
I recently traveled to Peru with the Turner Foundation to learn how pollution, climate change and deforestation are affecting one of our world’s most precious resources. We met with Minister Brack and visited the Marañón and Ucayali tributaries, learning about how illegal mining is clogging rivers with sediment, releasing mercury into the environment, and contributing to deforestation.
The biologically diverse rainforest is home to hundreds of rare species of birds, mammals and plants. However, if mining and deforestation continue, these species are in serious trouble, as is our environment.
I commend the work Peru’s Ministry of the Environment is doing to protect these natural resources, including creating Sernanp, the national agency that oversees protected land areas. The Turner Foundation is committed to supporting the new Peruvian administration in continuing these efforts to protect the Amazon.
Here’s how you can help:
- Support ecotourism. This type of responsible travel allows you to visit our world’s precious resources with minimal environmental impact. It also supports the local economy in these areas.
- Do business with companies that provide products or services that do not harm the rainforest and its resources.
- Consume less red meat. Cattle production costs the rainforest more land than does logging.
- Elect candidates who support environmental safety efforts.
I hope this inspires you to do what you can to protect our resources not only globally, but also locally.