From this Sunday, September 7, you will be able to defend the
Amazon forest. It´s the beginning of a new web site, Globo
Amazônia, that will bring exclusive news content about the
region and an interactive map with real time information about
With this map, you can follow up on the deforestation and fires in the Brazilian Amazon, a huge area of 5,2 million square kilometers. And more: you will be able to protest against all this, while our news teams investigate these cases and ask proper authorities for solutions.
It´s very simple to use the map, which was especially developed to be used with Google's Orkut. Orkut's full version of this map (see here how to use it) allows users to protest against the destruction of the forest, invite friends to participate in the surveillance and get the latest news on the region.
Right now there are more than 1,900 fires in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon. The number is not an estimate or a projection, but real data based on satellite monitoring taking place at the very moment this text is written.
This information, previously accessible only to governmental specialists or environmentalists, is now at hand to any Internet user thanks to a new map of the region developed by Globo.com and Globo Television, the largest Brazilian network, after an idea born in the Fantástico TV show’s newsroom.
The map - called Amazônia.vc, or Amazon.you - is fed with the most recent satellite data provided by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, known as Inpe. The data is updated up to six times a day, which means that it is possible to check up on a fire on the same day it is happening and, moreover, protest publicly against the destruction of the forest.
In Amazônia.vc, it is possible to see, all in one screen, the data of two systems used by the space research institute: the Fire Monitoring System and the System of Deforestation Detection in Real Time, known as Deter. The former receives information from European and American satellites that track the radiation emitted by the flames.
Deter, which is updated monthly, shows the deforested areas in the Amazon. Images captured by Terra, a satellite launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), go through a filter and are analyzed by a team of Brazilian researchers who register all the newly cleared locations. It is the most complete system of deforestation monitoring on the planet. “Brazil is an example to the world in this particular area”, said Dalton Valeriano, coordinator of the Amazon Program at the space research institute.
According to him, other countries also attempt to monitor their forests by satellite but none does it with the same frequency and precision as Brazil does. “Russia says it does it, but the international community regards their data with suspicion. India monitors by sampling, in specific points located every 10 kilometers. Australia also does something similar, but doesn’t have much forested area.”
The Amazon is the greatest rain forest in the world. There is no
region on the planet that can be compared to the Amazon in terms
of biodiversity and extension. But a quick look on the
interactive map shows a worrisome situation: there are dozens of
points indicating deforestation and fires, especially in its
southern and southeastern areas. Human actions have already
destroyed about 17% of the Amazon forest, or almost 730,000
“Although the pace of deforestation has slowed down in the past few years, the forest is still destroyed at a pace of 0.5% a year. If the Amazon keeps being disposed of like this, future generations will see nothing of it”, Valeriano warned.
“It is going to be interesting to know whether each of these clearings in the forest are legal or not”, says the coordinator while he browses through Amazônia.vc. Although the institute is able to identify the locations of deforestation and fire, researchers can't know if they are happening within the law.
That's exactly where Globo Amazônia journalists come in. They will elaborate features based on the information from satellites and on the users’ protests. The Globo Amazônia web page will also concentrate all the journalistic content related to the Amazon produced by Globo, making it the perfect place to get information on the region -- and to protest against its destruction.