Economic Valuation of Illegal Gold Mining in the Brazilian Amazon

Economic Valuation of Illegal Gold Mining in the Brazilian Amazon

The Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) is a government institution, independent of the three branches of the government, which is responsible for defending citizens against abuses and negligence by the government, and defending public property. In particular, the MPF has been active in combating activities that result in negative social and environmental impacts, such as illegal gold mining. However, prosecutors are often challenged to properly assess the financial penalties for individuals and companies for these infractions.

In collaboration with the Federal Public Ministry of Brazil, Conservation Strategy Fund has been working to develop an “impact calculator” to expose the socio-environmental costs of illegal gold mining. The impact calculator will be an economic valuation tool that will allow users to calculate the exact socio-environmental costs of illegal gold mining, thus providing invaluable information to users and sharing the true costs of the illegal industry. 

In order to share this research and raise awareness of the negative impacts of illegal gold mining in the Amazon, CSF Brazil organized a series of tailored seminars, which were attended by a diverse set of institutions, including the Public Federal Ministry, the Federal Police, and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama). The first seminar was held on September 15-17 of 2020 and featured several experts discussing the biophysical impacts of gold mining. The second seminar was held on November 10-12, and presented valuation methodologies and case studies on gold mining. The seminar series will conclude this May with the final presentation of the impact calculator tool, and a presentation on its use, and impact.

Mining in Brazil