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Премия рунета 2017

PROTECTING RIVERS FROM THE GOLD MINING

In recent years, the number of licenses issued for geological exploration of subsoil in terms of searching for the new deposits of alluvial gold has been growing.

Mining of alluvial gold pollutes rivers and disrupts natural riverbeds; it leads to a significant negative transformation of the river valley slopes, causes significant erosion of floodplain lands, and destroys valuable floodplain forests. Muddy plumes stretch for tens, sometimes, hundreds of kilometers downstream the work sites.

To protect rivers from the devastating consequences of gold mining, it is necessary to establish a moratorium on the issuance of new licenses for geological exploration of mineral resources, exploration, and production of alluvial gold in water bodies not yet affected by such activities.

Since 2018, WWF-Russia has been conducting remote monitoring of river pollution using satellite images. During the monitoring period, hundreds of violations were discovered on the territory of the Far Eastern and Siberian federal districts.

On January 29, 2021 WWF-Russia sent an appeal to the Ministry of Natural Resources with a number of proposals to reduce the negative impact of alluvial gold mining on ecosystems and human life.

On March 22, 2021 on World Water Day, WWF-Russia sent an appeal to the head of Rosprirodnadzor, Svetlana Radionova (available in Russian), with proposals for solving the problem of the negative impact of alluvial gold mining projects on the rivers of Siberia and the Far East.

RIVER POLLUTION SPACE MONITORING RESULTS:
MAY 15, 2021 – OCTOBER 15, 2021

  • 243 cases of pollution were detected in Amur ecoregion. Total length of the polluted river sections reached 8,465 km.

  • 77 cases of pollution were found in Altai-Sayan ecoregion. Total length of the polluted river sections reached 3,013 km.