Drone Built By A Small Tribe Is Protecting Land

We Built a Drone from Digital Democracy on Vimeo.

In Guyana there are a lot of illegal mining and logging operations that the government doesn’t pursue due to a lack of evidence. To protect their lands from such activity a small tribe, the Wapichan community, have built a drone to record the damage being done. They used videos on YouTube to find out how to build the drone and designed their drone to be repairable using locally found products (like discarded plastics). It’s a good story about how access to technology and knowledge by small groups can have a big impact!

“With the drones, we can go into really inaccessible areas,” Fredericks told Quartz. Using its footage, the Wapichan are assembling a “living map” to document their customary land use—and to demonstrate to the government how outside interests were impinging upon lands the Wapichan have safeguarded for centuries.
Their drone confirmed what the Wapichan had long suspected: In the south, close to the border with Brazil, illegal loggers were harvesting trees in lands that were supposed to be protected. And the gold mine at Marudi Mountain, to the southeast of Shulinab, appeared to be leaching pollution into the headwaters upon which the Wapichan depend.

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The Web Makes You Humble, Not Stupid

In the early years of the internet people worried that it would make people stupid and people would sit around not contributing to society. It turns out that the internet is not as bad as TV. Indeed, the web may make us more humble and help us realize our own ignorance.

One possibility is that the internet actually makes us more humble. “We suggested that people might be engaging in a sort of social comparison between themselves and the internet,” Amanda Ferguson, one of the study’s authors, writes me in an email. “This would reduce their ‘feeling-of-knowing’ the answer (since they’re comparing themselves to the all-knowing internet), and ultimately lead them to answer fewer questions.”

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Transition From Knowing About Earth Day to Acting to Help the Earth

Today is Earth Day which is a day that calls people to be conscious of the environment and find ways to help or protect nature. It’s a great intuitive that has been around since 1970 and it’s impact continues to grow. One issue that a lot of environmental organizations run into is transitioning people’s knowledge of negative environmental behaviour into direct action.

This where a new web service called Rallyware can potentially help out. It looks alright and is one of many initiatives we’ve seen attempt this – hopefully this service will be a great success.

According to Rallyware CEO both small and large environmental organizations miss out on important business goals because they don’t engage their online supporters, fans and followers with these four easy steps:

STEP #1: CREATE BITE-SIZED TASKS
Create small, easy-to-accomplish offline tasks that must be checked off on the way to a bigger offline goal.

STEP #2: TRACK PROGRESS ONLINE
Even though actions are occurring offline, online tracking allows everyone to know in real-time how they are performing.

STEP #3: CREATE INCENTIVES
Motivate your supporters with physical rewards, status upgrades, and peer recognition for a job well done.

STEP #4: ENGAGE AGAIN
Because the support of a follower or fan erodes with inactivity, always have the next set of tasks ready to go.

Rallyware’s website
Earth Day Canada
Earth Day on Wikipedia

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How to Get Out From the Invasive PRISM Surveillance Program

Thanks to the brave efforts from Edward Snowden we are now aware of something long suspected: that the USA (and many other nations including Canada) are reading our communications. The program is called PRISM and it monitors your communication. Basically, if you connect to the internet or use a mobile phone you can, and may already, be tracked by various entities.

This shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone. With the pervasiveness of the internet it may seem like an overwhelming task to not be monitored. PRISM Break is a guide to open source and secure technology that you can easily implement on your own.

PRISM Break

Check out PRISM Break.

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