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French Guiana Rainforest Gold Mine Successfully Blocked

Press release from Ecological Internet | October 14, 2006

Madison, WI - French Guiana's environmentalists are rejoicing as it became known yesterday that gold mining activities of Canadian multi-national Cambior in the heavily rainforested Kaw region in French Guiana have been blocked.

In late September, Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network mobilized, upon the request of local and international conservationists working in the area, a last ditch effort to protect the area from certain ruin - inundating government officials with tens of thousands of protest emails.

"Yet again, Ecological Internet has demonstrated that an empowered global citizenry can demand an end to industrial development of all ancient forests. The world's last remaining large ancient forest wildlands are invaluable, and if lost will lead to local and global ecological collapse. Either conservationists are working to end primary and old-growth forest loss and diminishment, or they are part of the problem," explains Ecological Internet's President, Dr. Glen Barry.

Local groups inform Ecological Internet (EI) via the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation in the Netherlands that this victory was "to a large extent due to your (EI's) e-mail campaign" and "your support has been invaluable, thank you so much!" They conclude our protest was critical to achieving the victory because our protest coincided with delaying the decision by two weeks, and given that the ministers of the Environment and of Industry, who have blocked the rainforest mining activity, relied largely upon our grounds for doing so.

The Ministry of the Environment's website reports the following information dated October 11th (in French, http://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=6468 ):

"The report of the inspection mission commissioned by Ms. Nelly Olin, minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development and Mr. Franois Loos, delegated minister of Industry was handed today to the ministers... The mission established that... there are shortcomings on two issues and therefore the project cannot be authorized in its present form; 1.) the impact on fauna and flora, 2.) the conditions of emission of effluents containing cyanide compounds into the natural environment... As a result of this, the enterprise CAMBIOR withdraws its present application for a mining license and will submit a new application, which will again be subject to public consultation."

The mining company indicates they intend to submit a new application by the end of the year. Ecological Internet with our partners will follow this closely. No intact, precious ancient rainforests are ever protected for long. But at least there is now more time to describe the potential negative impacts and to mobilize people in and outside French Guiana.

Ecological Internet specializes in the use of the Internet to espouse scientifically rigorous ecological sustainability solutions and to facilitate conservation outcomes. The efforts are almost entirely funded by small donations from network participants. This is the latest in a stunning string of conservation victories for which each network participant is responsible (see http://www.ecoearth.info/kudos/ ).


editors note For more information and interview please contact:

Dr. Glen Barry
President
Ecological Internet, Inc.
P.O. Box 433
Denmark, WI 54208
USA
GlenBarry@EcologicalInternet.org
+1 920 776 1075 phone

Article has been adapted from a news release issued by Ecological Internet.

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