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One of All eyes on the Amazon local Ecuador partners, Alianza Ceibo, is leading in Northern Ecuador to support the A'I Kofan in the defense of their ancestral territory against both illegal gold mining and newly approved mining concessions.

Despite a national referendum banning “metallic mining in all its stages, in protected areas, in intangible zones, and urban centers” the Ecuadorian government has recently doled-out more than 10 new gold mining concessions in the headwaters of the Aguarico River- home to the ancestral A’I Kofan people and within the boundaries of the Cayambe-Coca National Park. With machinery arriving in this pristine area and mining operations already ongoing, the new gold rush threatens this mega-diverse rainforest, a critical upper Amazonian headwaters region, and dozens of communities living downriver.

Protecting the forest

Faced with the imminent threat of large-scale mining operations upriver, including possible mercury contamination in critical fish-spawning grounds, the A’i Kofan community of Sinangoe is organizing to protect their rivers and forests. Amazon Frontlines is accompanying the people of Sinangoe as they build out high-tech monitoring plans, legal strategies and media campaigns to denounce this new wave of gold mining. In recent weeks, Sinangoe’s land patrol has observed diggers and large water-pumps outside the mining concession limits, inside the river bed, excavating and damaging the Aguarico River. Of principal concern to the community is that these kinds of gold mining operations in the Amazon often come with the use of highly toxic mercury, a heavy metal that bioaccumulates in fish and that can be highly damaging to the human nervous system.

The Kofan of Sinangoe are defending their rainforest home and they need your support: Stand with Sinangoe