Peter Gabriel’s WITNESS to train Amazon inhabitants to record illegal logging

Fighting deforestation with drones and phones

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Published in Climate Action & WDCD by

Indigenous and local communities in the Amazon will soon start using drones, mobile phones, social media and other modern techniques to combat deforestation in the Amazon. Early in 2017 a coalition of eleven environmental and human rights groups and local community groups received funding from the Dutch National Postcode Lottery’s Dream Fund for the project, entitled All Eyes on the Amazon*.

One of the participating organizations is WITNESS, which was set up by pop musician Peter Gabriel to make it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. WITNESS will train the inhabitants of the Amazon to document violations of land rights and deforestation with video to be potentially used as evidence.

Sharing videos

WITNESS will also support the creation of a database whereby communities can share videos with one another and via social media to inform activists, advocates, and concerned citizens worldwide of destructive activities in the Amazon rainforest.

Pentagram partner and WITNESS collaborator Harry Pearce will certainly refer to the Amazon project when he will discuss the necessity of freedom of speech for sustainable development in the Activation Session Give me freedom on day 2 of WDCD Live Amsterdam.

In the session Pearce will be joined his Pentagram colleague Naresh Ramchandani, the grassroots organization 350.org and the visual columnists of Gorilla. In the workshop they will discuss with the participants the ways in which design can help to fight corruption, and political and corporate interests in support of climate action.

Media theme

Awareness and public support are crucial in finding solutions for climate change. Reason why we added media as a theme for the Activation Sessions. Under this theme we’ll also have a workshop in manifesto writing on day 1 by Canadian visionary and designer Bruce Mau author of the books Massive Change, S,M,L,XL and In Good We Trust, and the famed An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. Also on day 1 is a session on alternative facts with Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, on which we will soon have more information.

In Show me data Big Data specialist and designer Rogier Klomp will discuss how available data sets may help to understand climate change and to change our behaviour.

For all sessions we’ve still tickets available, but don’t wait too long.
*All Eyes on the Amazon will be run and implemented by a coalition of eleven environmental and human rights groups and local community groups. In addition to WITNESS, this includes the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon Basin (COICA), Hivos, Greenpeace Netherlands, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Digital Democracy, the World Resources Institute, the University of Maryland, INTERPOL LEAF, Both ENDS, and ARTICLE 19.

Photo by Augusto Escribens / courtesy All Eyes on the Amazon

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