Amazon Tribe + Google Earth

= Saved Forest

This free Google Earth download site is a privately held fan site. This site is not an official Google site 

This story is amazing.  I just read about it today and HAD to share it. 

Basically it goes like this:

There is a tribe way inside the Amazon Rainforest called the Surui.  Until 1969, the Surui had no exposure to the outside world.  That’s the year that Brazil gained its independence.  And what that meant for the Surui was that they were no longer alone.  It was in that year that they were confronted by Brazilian officials and, since they were a warrior tribe, they decided to fight.

And it didn’t go well.  At ALL.  Between the deaths from battle and disease, the Surui went from about  5000 people to about 250 in very short order.  So they decided on a plan B, which was a peaceful plan with the government.  They got the medical treatment they needed but lost half  their land in that deal.  And to this day they are not free.  In fact, eleven Surui chiefs have been killed since then, trying to protect their land.  Illegal logging is the main threat to their survival currently.

Chief Almir Naravamoga has since been training his people in IT, and last year visited Google with a plan.  He wanted assistance in monitoring illegal logging.  The way this would work is the exact coordinates would be entered into Google Earth whenever an infraction occurred.  Then this would be reported to the correct authorities. 

Google Earth has just approved this request, and will now be providing hi-res imagery of  the home of the Surui.  The Surui call Google “ragogmakan” or “messenger”, because they are hoping to disseminate their message with this technology.  It’s going to be a lot of work and dedication to turn around these years of destruction of the Amazon, but this is most definitely a good start.

Thank you Geoffrey Lean, Environmental Editor of The Independent,  for the info.

The Surui tribe speaks on the Google Earth Community.  Show your support. 

Photo is of members of the Surui tribe.  Courtesy of Google Earth Community.