Environmental and Health Impacts of Small-scale Gold Mining in Ecuador - Phase III

The municipalities of Zaruma and Portovelo on the Puyango River (Ecuador) are the site of many small- and medium-sized gold mines. Under two previous phases of the project (004291 and 101415) researchers were able to demonstrate high levels of toxic metals along the Puyango River, and the pathways of contamination between gold mining/processing plants, river pollution, and human health. Consequently, some interventions to mitigate negative health effects of gold mining were introduced. But, action on many levels is required to put this knowledge to use.

This project will endeavor to consolidate the results of the previous phases, mobilize relevant stakeholders and influence public policy toward preventing pollution upstream and managing its effects downstream.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End Date

Friday, September 30, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Bazzani, Roberto

Total funding

CA$ 142,500


Ecuador, South America, North and Central America


Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Betancourt, Oscar


Fundación Salud Ambiente y Desarrollo

Institution Country