Earlier this week, the Humala administration of Peru pledged $35 million (US) to the Madre de Dios region, an investment that will work to enforce the rule of law in areas of development.

Projects funded by this contribution will target illicit mining and organized crime in Peru’s southern Amazon region.

“We have to save the Amazon…we have to protect the interests of our children,” said Humala.

The president’s announcement cited studies from the Carnegie Amazon Mercury Ecosystem Project (CAMEP), noting that over 30 tons of mercury end up in Madre de Dios rivers due to illicit mining.

Results from CAMEP studies have been used extensively by the government of Peru to raise public awareness and organize new national policy to reduce and control the devastating effects of artisanal and small scale gold mining.

Luis Fernandez, director of CAMEP, is also a board member of the Amazon Aid Foundation. His accomplishments have greatly influenced projects to preserve the Amazon rainforest and improve the health of local communities impacted by mercury poisoning.

We at the Amazon Aid Foundation are proud to have him on our team.