Saturday, October 4, 2008

Amazon conservation in San Francisco

For most of us, today is another Saturday. For a chief of the Surui tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, it's a unique day, because San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has issued a proclamation declaring October 4th as "Chief Almir Surui Day."

Chief Almir and the Amazon Conservation Team will be in the Bay Area to attend the world premiere of a documentary film by Denise Zmekhol called Children of the Amazon. They'll also participate in a unique panel tomorrow, October 5th.

In June, a team of Googlers went to the Amazon to train indigenous people including Chief Almir's Surui tribe on how to use Google Earth, You Tube and other Internet tools to show the world what's at stake with deforestation in the Amazon. The tribes are using this knowledge to preserve their history, culture, and develop a long-term sustainability plan to protect their rainforest and create economic opportunity.

Filmmaker Zmekhol joined us on the trip and filmed dozens of hours of footage. Out of this footage has come a story about cloud computing from under a lush canopy of Amazon rainforest, where a group of emerging technologists are eager to share their story about their culture and their plan to preserve their forest and their way of life. (Learn more about our trip here.)


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