Mining drives extensive deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Article | Open

Mining drives extensive deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon  

Laura J. Sonter, Diego Herrera, Damian J. Barrett, Gillian L. Galford, Chris J. Moran & Britaldo S. Soares-Filho

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 1013 (2017)

 

Abstract

Mining poses significant and potentially underestimated risks to tropical forests worldwide. In Brazil’s Amazon, mining drives deforestation far beyond operational lease boundaries, yet the full extent of these impacts is unknown and thus neglected in environmental licensing. Here we quantify mining-induced deforestation and investigate the aspects of mining operations, which most likely contribute. We find mining significantly increased Amazon forest loss up to 70 km beyond mining lease boundaries, causing 11,670 km2 of deforestation between 2005 and 2015. This extent represents 9% of all Amazon forest loss during this time and 12 times more deforestation than occurred within mining leases alone. Pathways leading to such impacts include mining infrastructure establishment, urban expansion to support a growing workforce, and development of mineral commodity supply chains. Mining-induced deforestation is not unique to Brazil; to mitigate adverse impacts of mining and conserve tropical forests globally, environmental assessments and licensing must considered both on- and off-lease sources of deforestation. Read full article.

Mineração respondeu por 9% do desmatamento na Amazônia brasileira entre 2005 e 2015

Estudo inédito mostra que impacto da atividade na floresta é bem maior do que se pensava e se estende muito além das áreas de concessão