VIDEO: The effects of illegal mining on the Amazon

The effects of illegal gold mining on Peru’s Amazon rainforest are well known:

The practices of about 5,000 illegal miners have led to pollution, violence, deforestation and the destruction of wildlife.

A recent governmental study estimates that about 40,000 hectares of rainforest have been wiped out.

But what does this damage actually look like?

Earlier this month, Peru’s environment ministry joined with the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to fly over the Amazon and film the damage.

Here is what they saw, narrated (in Spanish) by journalist Guido Lombardi:

“It’s like you put a piece of the desert in the middle of the Amazon,” Lombardi says about the deforestation that took only three years to complete.

See also: Devastating cost of illegal mining in Peru higher than ever thought: government