Gold’s Price: Meeting demand for gold comes at a high cost to the environment

If you’re wearing gold jewelry right now, there’s a good chance it came from an illegal mining operation in the tropics and surfaced only after some rainforest was sacrificed, according to a team of University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers and alumni who stud­ied regulatory efforts to curb some of these environmentally damaging activities in the Amazon.

The researchers, including Mary Herman Rubinstein Professor of Geography Lisa Naughton, investigated mining-related deforestation in a biodiverse and ecologi­cally sensitive area of the Peruvian Amazon to see whether formalizing and legalizing these mining operations might curb some of their negative effects…

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