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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Couple travel to Honduras on quest for 'ethical' wedding rings
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¬†A soon-to-be married couple have returned from a gruelling trip to a goldmine in Honduras where they saw the real story behind where the gold in their wedding rings may come from. Zoe Gahan, a picture editor, and her fiancť Mat Laroche, a documentary film maker, both aged 30, from Woodstock Road in Chiswick, have been campaigning for 'ethical gold' with the aid agency CAFOD. They wanted to take the next step and see for themselves the real story behind the making of their future wedding rings. Zoe said: "I wanted to look further into the issues of gold mining before Mat and I go off and buy our wedding rings. I only became aware recently of the problems with gold mining through CAFOD's Unearth Justice campaign. Now I've seen the devastating effects first hand that gold mining can have on the communities near a mine and the environment. It's really shaken me. "After seeing the scar on the landscape that is the gold mine I'm very concerned to know where high street jewellery stores are sourcing their gold from. There are dangerous levels of cyanide in the water around the mine and I heard from local people that the mine causes them to fear for their health. I was shocked at the sheer size of the mine, it can use up to 220 gallons of water per minute when the people nearby struggle to find enough water for themselves and their cattle to drink." Mat said: "I was appalled to speak to the humble farmers who had originally lived on the site of the mine but had been forced to move. They lost their fruit orchards, a forest and some are very concerned about the validity of the title deeds to their new homes. The mine has left them poorer and extremely worried about their future. I'd urge everyone out there who buys gold jewellery to ask about where it comes from." The Unearth Justice campaign is raising awareness and calling for an end to the harm caused by gold mining. CAFOD is pressing governments and business to give poor communities a greater say in whether and how gold is mined and who benefits. They are not calling for a boycott of jewellery retailers but asking them to put pressure on the rest of the gold industry to change the way it operates. Head of CAFOD's campaign team, Helen Wolfson, said: "Over £2 billion items of gold jewellery are bought in the UK each year. Gold is usually linked with love and commitment but this Valentine's Day we are asking people to think about where this gold comes from and help us to ensure the gold industry behaves responsibly towards poor communities and the environment. People can sign our petition which calls on high street jewellers to ensure the gold in their products is not produced that the expense of local communities or the environment."
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