Mining Impacts Calculator Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname

Region & Country

Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) is adapting our landmark Mining Impacts Calculator, a tool that allows anyone to estimate the environmental, social and economic  impacts of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), to include data for use in Suriname and Guyana. In addition, CSF will promote the adoption of the tool in Ecuador.

This tool was originally developed for the Brazilian government in 2021 and has been helping the government better protect local communities from the negative impacts of gold mining across the country. In 2022, CSF was a finalist for the Conservation X Labs' Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon for an adaptation of our Mining Impacts Calculator in Ecuador. We are now expanding our methodologies for the Calculator’s use in Guyana and Suriname. All three countries are affected by environmental and social harm caused by the ASGM sector, and all three will benefit greatly from this use of this tool. 

The Mining Impacts Calculator includes the impacts of ASGM on deforestation and the human health consequences of mercury contamination in the rivers and ecosystems local populations depend on. CSF trains key stakeholders in the use of this tool to best serve conservation efforts, prioritizing the training of national and local government representatives, police departments, civil society organizations, local communities, and indigenous peoples from Ecuador, Guyana, and Suriname.

This project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more information in Spanish click here, and in English click here.

Since 2024, this economic tool has had the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to expand its scope by including more Amazon regions such as Amazonas, Ucayali, and San Martín. Currently, in Peru, the tool is estimating the economic impact of illegal gold mining in Loreto and Madre de Dios.

In order to ensure the practical application of the Peruvian Calculator version, CSF is working to incorporate the costs associated with the remediation of water bodies contaminated by the use of mercury as part of the economic valuation analysis. Similarly, the productivity generated by the machinery and/or equipment used in illegal mining (alluvial and/or fluvial) would be added to the economic valuation.

With the addition of Guyana, Suriname and Ecuador to our Mining Impacts Calculator, and the updated methodology in Peru, governments can now join the ongoing efforts in the region to reduce harmful mining practices in the Amazon basin. Our hope is that the Calculator will also discourage the use of mercury and promote cleaner mining technologies across the sector. 

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