Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

The Dramatic Impact of Illegal Amber Mining in Ukraine’s Wild West

A chaotic scene in Ukraine has miners pitted against each other and the government, often with deadly consequences and significant environmental harm. Vlad’s black SUV softly crunched through the gravel in front of Dubrovytsya’s faded Polish Catholic church. The sound of circular saws echoed from inside, where workmen were restoring the 300-year-old rococo cathedral to its pre-Soviet glory—allegedly with money from the illicit amber trade. Stas, Vlad’s partner, parked his BMW a couple blocks away. The former cops popped the trunk of Vlad’s 4×4 and he pulled out a shotgun. He grabbed a few shells and put the gun in the back of our truck. “We’re always armed when we go out,” said the illegal amber miner. And for good reason—the town sits in the heart of Ukraine’s Wild West—the thousands of acres of ravaged pine and birch forests whose sandy soils hide millions of dollars in amber. As in other gold rushes, violence has followed the scramble for the semiprecious gemstone, with gangs fightingover lucrative pits and claims rife that corrupt government officials are battling for territory and control. On January 15, assailants armed with machine guns and grenades attacked young men in a coffee shop in the town of Olevsk, killing one and seriously wounding around a dozen others. Pictures from the scene show blood and handguns splashed across the snow. The rush is built on the backs of tens of thousands of poor villagers as they illegally blast apart the landscape with pressure hoses, digging from the loose earth of northwest Ukraine the brown lumps of fossilized tree resinmade famous in Jurassic Park. On our way out of town we passed a modest showroom selling legal jewelry and Orthodox icons encrusted in the finished product—polished bits of amber gleaming from buttery yellow to clear dark honey. Nearby, a row of shops sold home furnishings and construction supplies as people rush to use the money from the bonanza to fix up their small homes or build new ones. The banditry is so widespread it has become a sort of dark joke—a wink, a nudge and a Kalashnikov. One building contractor’s sign read, “We will be your roof,” a play on “krysha,” Russian for “roof,” but slang for “protection racket.”

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Posted by on Feb 5 2017. Filed under News at Now. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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