Last week, Amazon Aid Foundation board members Sarah DuPont and Luis Fernandez traveled to Guyana, French Guyana, and Suriname, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, to screen “Amazon Gold” and discuss the issues portrayed in the film. While each country has unique resources and challenges, all face the problems presented by a rapidly growing gold mining industry—particularly the negative effects of mercury pollution on public health and the environment. The trip was part of a collaborative initiative between WWF, UNESCO and local governments, to promote cooperation between South American countries in mining regulation.

In each country, Amazon Gold, the documentary produced by AAF in association with the Americas Business Council Foundation, was screened in front of top government officials, as well as representatives of the local mining industry, leaders from local indigenous communities and NGOs, press, and students from local secondary schools and universities.  The screenings were followed by panel discussions featuring DuPont, the producer of the film, mercury expert Luis Fernandez, as well as local experts on the issues.  With audience members, these experts discussed recent developments in the world of mining regulations, particularly the Minamata treaty, recently signed to regulate mercury emissions, as well as the impact of mining and possible solutions to prevent and mitigate its effects.

Amazon Gold is well on its way to achieving its mission to educate the public and inspire change. Here at AAF, we’re excited to see it reach a wider audience and we look forward to working with these diverse groups to create real solutions. If you’d like more information about the film, contact us at info@amazonaid.org.