One effect of not paying miners a fair share is environmental destruction. Out of a lack of opportunities and/or as a consequence of forced labour, miners are digging for gold in ecosystems that are already being destroyed on a large scale: tropical rainforests in South America, Africa and Asia.
Investing in reforestation in an agroforestry project has two distinct benefits. The reforestation work contributes to healing an ecosystem that is being devastated by mining. At the same time, it supports the local economy by providing farmers with an additional income from FSC®️ – certified timber, that is sustainably harvested. This way we can invest in reforestation, while also helping local farmers to earn a decent income.
This is why we invest in agroforestry
Agroforestry is a way of farming in which trees are grown around or among crops. Coffee and Cocoa for instance can grow in the shade of rainforest trees. For farmers that has a number of benefits. By smartly integrating rainforest trees into their farming systems, they adapt their plantations to climate change, improve the quality of the soil, and achieve long-term sustainability of the production. At the same time parts of the rainforest that have been cut down can be reforested.
This is where we plant trees
We are investing with PUR in an agroforestry project in Peru – a country that is particularly hit by gold mining in rainforest areas. To make this possible, we are investing 5% of our sales profits of the Syllucid Charge into reforestation and agroforestry. Every cable sold is a contribution to this project. The project was initially pioneered with partners such as Ecosia and supports 2,663 farmers of fair trade and organic coffee. With the help of other partners, PUR has already reforested 2,671 hectares. With the contribution of just one batch of our cables, we can plant another 3,000 trees and support the generation of income for those farmers and families.
This is why agroforestry contributes to the economy
Just how effective tree planting and agroforestry are in generating income is exemplified in the graphic below.
Every tree we plant generates around 17 US dollars of ecosystem value across different areas per year. So on top of turning a small part of the Amazon back into forest, we are also generating value for the economy.
The issue of illegal mining is much more complex – and finding solutions requires interventions on multiple levels. Artisanal mining is sometimes the only way people can earn an income. We can’t ignore them or simply source from other places. Instead, in many places, formalising artisanal mining and supporting artisanal miners is essential. Millions of people depend on this income.
We are investing in a fair share for miners, a contribution to the local economy and ecosystem restoration in Peru, and mitigating the damages done by illegal gold mining. However, this doesn’t entirely fix the issue and it is just the start of many interventions we need with other partners in the future.
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