We work with Andean communities, whose main source of income is the extraction of gold using traditional techniques, to develop and implement actions for the conservation of the Andean cat and its environment. The traditional techniques used for gold extraction are not regulated and can be very dangerous, directly impacting wildlife by polluting water and soil, and also putting the health of the miners and their families at risk.
This work is being developed in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society – Bolivia and other institutions. With this program, we aim to make the protection of biodiversity as a requirement to obtain green gold, or Fairmined gold certificates. These internationally valid certifications provide an excellent opportunity for the economic development of environmentally-conscious communities. They reduce the potential hazards of artisanal gold mining by increasing the net value of the metal in international markets, as long as it is extracted using sustainable techniques. In this first stage of the program, we are working with a community to develop specific plans for the conservation of the Andean cat and to diminish general conflicts with regional biodiversity.