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The issue in French Guiana

It all started with field observation of the impact that alluvial gold mining has on local populations and their environment. Although the mining code requires the restoration of waterways at the end of the exploitation of the site, only 30% of the deforested areas must be replanted, leaving 70% of the soil and wildlife bare. On these degraded lands there is no longer any “soil” to speak of, as there is no organic matter. If nothing is done, the soil cannot be reconstituted and will remain a biological desert, excluding the return of a rich and complex vegetation.

Our answer: Minaverde

The Minaverde project is led by a group of reforestation entrepreneurs who have been active for several years in the Amazon and who wish to pool their know-how and experience in order to develop a responsible gold industry that will, at the very least, restore hard-hit ecosystems. The heart of our approach is to focus first on the life of the soil, to initiate a long cycle of biodiversity restoration. The soil is the foundation of life, as it nourishes the forest and ensures its proper development. It is the home of more than 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Thus, by restoring the biological activity of the soil, we provide plants with everything they need for their growth and we reactivate the forest cycle.

To do this, we select local plants that have the natural ability to develop on degraded soils and eventually make them fertile. Thanks to their rapid growth, these pioneer species will provide shade and recreate favorable conditions for the installation of other forest species. Reforestation also helps to stabilize soils and limit their erosion, preserve the quality of waterways and participate in carbon storage to reduce greenhouse gases.

Our track record

To enable this reforestation project, we have called on the entire value chain, to make the various players responsible, from the miner to the consumer, via the refiner and the buyer. The Kering Group has committed itself to reforesting 100 hectares over 3 years. We have also set up a biodiversity protocol that allows us to observe the return of certain “umbrella” species, in addition to monitoring plant growth.

Our partners

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