An open letter
The directors of the Environmental Community Health Organization (Echo) wish to commend you on your recent programme to address illegal mining operations in Guyana. These illegal rudimentary operations are unsustainable and have been destroying the integrity of our environment.
Whatever the price of gold, it cannot compensate for the irreparable damage done to the environment. Many miners do not add the environmental cost to their cost of production nor do they account for the environmental damage on their balance sheet.
Environmental history has shown that the impact of man’s activity on the environment has led to disaster. It has been the trend of some corporations and individuals to exploit the earth’s resources as though they were inexhaustible.
It is the tragedy of the commons– where individuals and groups of individuals acting independently and rationally consulting their own self- interest will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is evident that it is not in anyone’s long- term interest for this to happen.
Therefore, Echo welcomes this move and hopes that you would go beyond that to promote environmental awareness and education as a requirement for those who are desirous of mining for gold, diamond and other minerals. We believe that this would not only enhance general appreciation for the environment but also help to protect and preserve the environment.