Peru is working to improve its Amazon rainforest by investing US$35 million for the Madre de Dios region. President Ollanta Humala says this money will work to stop illegal mining and organized crime in the southern part of Peru.
Humala believes this project is very important as illegal mining is causing drastic and harmful changes to the environment. A study performed last year by Carnegie Institution for Science on Mercury showed that over 30 tons of it ended up in the Madre de Dios rivers. This leads to overconsumption of mercury by the rural communities in the area. Carnegie found that the people in this region had levels of Mercury over five times the recommended amount by the World Health Organization. Along with these bad side effects, illegal mining is linked to smuggling operations and human trafficking. This money granted to the Madre de Dios region is hoped to bring about better change for the local communities.