2018 Photo Contest, Environment, Stories, 3rd prize

Amazon: Paradise Threatened


Daniel Beltra

20 January, 2017

An illegal gold mine, about 160 kilometers north of Macapá, Amapá, Brazilian Amazon. Mercury, a poisonous by-product of gold extraction, pollutes local water and is found in dangerous levels in fish hundreds of kilometers from the source.

After declining from major peaks in 1995 and 2004, the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased sharply in 2016, under pressure from logging, mining, agriculture and hydropower developments. The Amazon forest is one of Earth’s great ‘carbon sinks’, absorbing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and acting as a climate regulator. Without it, the world’s ability to lock up carbon would be reduced, compounding the effects of global warming.


Daniel Beltra

Technical information

Focal length
72.0 mm

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