Surui take back the land with Google Earth

Description: The Amazon Rainforest is one of the world’s last remaining rainforests and comprises the most biodiversity on Earth. However, this is being threatened by man-made deforestation. According to the Amazon Rainforest Deforestation News, during the last five months of 2007, more than 3,200 sq. kilometers (an area equivalent to the size of the state of Rhode Island) was deforested during a time when deforestation would normally drop. But, Amazon residents are demanding to take back the land through technology.

Tools Being Used: Google Earth

What Are They Doing: Google and the Amazon Conservation Team officially launched a new initiative yesterday with Indian tribes from the Surui reservation of Brazil to help reduce illegal deforestation. With the help of the Surui chief, Almir Narayamoga Surui(pictured above), tribe members will use the free software Google Earth to police their 600,000-acre reservation. The images will be used as evidence to show the Brazilian government of deforestation, or at least scare away loggers and miners.

The chief discovered the tool while playing around with it and was entranced with its power instantly. He told the International Herald Tribune last year, that he “saw thin whitish lines suggesting deforestation in the vast verdant swath that popped up when he zoomed in on his reservation.”

The loggers and miners “will certainly be scared, because we’ll be watching all the time and denouncing the invasions,” he said in the interview.

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