Charlottesville, VA – Amazon Aid Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organization educating global citizens on the importance of the Amazon through art, science, multimedia and film, has launched a program to support independent journalism focused on the Amazon. The initiative will support six stories that address the politics of gold mining in Amazon countries; gold mining’s impact on indigenous peoples; supply chains and corporate accountability, among other topics. Nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform Mongabay will publish the articles, the first of which can be read here.

The initiative aims to raise awareness around issues connected to gold mining, one of the fastest-growing and most dangerous threats to the Amazon, and a core area of expertise and focus by Amazon Aid and its Cleaner Gold Network. The articles will be produced collaboratively between Charles Lyons, a journalist who has written and produced content about the Amazon for over a decade, and Charlie Espinosa, a consultant with over five years of experience writing and researching Amazon gold mining for NGOs. While Lyons and Espinosa are consultants with AAF, they will develop the stories as independent journalists, without input from Amazon Aid.


Photo by Tomas Munita

“We are honored to be working on this series of deep dive articles at an especially critical time,” said Lyons. “Mongabay is not shy to publish inconvenient stories, nor is Amazon Aid Foundation to support them.”

“Gold mining in the Amazon is an urgent global issue that still hasn’t received the attention it deserves,” added Espinosa, lead author of the Tracking Amazon Gold report. “Charles [Lyons] and I are uniquely positioned to write well-researched, timely stories that the public deserves to hear.”

Coverage of gold mining in the Amazon has expanded significantly in recent years with Mongabay being at the forefront of its expansion, with particularly strong coverage on developments in Madre de Dios, Peru and the Brazilian Amazon. This focus, along with Amazon Aid Foundation’s core mission to educate global audiences through media about the threats facing the Amazon, particularly gold mining, was a driving force in the development of this collaboration.

“We are excited about working with Charles Lyons and Charlie Espinosa to do deep reporting on this critical issue in the Amazon,” said Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Ayers Butler. “Gold mining is affecting habitats, wildlife, and human populations across vast swathes of the region. We’re also very happy to see that Amazon Aid Foundation recognizes the value and impact that independent journalism can have in raising awareness, informing key decision makers, and helping support an enabling environment for a wide range of stakeholders.”

“The issues connected to illicit gold mining in the Amazon are still opaque to most people, and with the Amazon at the tipping point the need for rigorous and unbiased journalism is urgent,” concludes Amazon Aid Foundation Founder & President Sarah duPont. “Education is a cornerstone of everything Amazon Aid does, and we are honored to partner with Mongabay on this timely and vital program.”

About Amazon Aid Foundation:
The Amazon Aid Foundation is a nonprofit organization harnessing the power of multimedia and film to educate about the importance of the Amazon and the implications of its destruction while promoting working solutions to protect it. AAF’s award-winning projects affect global policy change and activate audiences worldwide to engage in sustainable approaches to protect the Amazon and demand responsibly sourced products. Our multimedia, accompanying educational curriculum, and social impact campaigns empower alliances of students, scientists, artists, NGOs, governments, and global citizens, and support stakeholders in the Amazon to further legislation and sustainable methods to protect and revitalize the rainforests. AAF supports and promotes advocacy efforts related to human and indigenous rights, clean water, the protection of species and habitat, and the regulation of illicit and unregulated gold mining and mercury usage. https://amazonaid.org

About Mongabay:
Mongabay is a nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform that produces original reporting in English, Indonesian, Spanish, French, Hindi, and Brazilian Portuguese by leveraging over 800 correspondents in some 70 countries. We are dedicated to evidence-driven objective journalism. For more on Mongabay’s impact and content visit https://www.mongabay.com