News and Maps from the Amazon Rainforest

By Alex Barth on May 30 2012

We are happy to announce that we're partnering with O Eco and Internews to launch InfoAmazonia.org, a map centric environmental news portal about the Amazon Rainforest, at the United Nation's Conference for Sustainable Development Rio+20 this month. InfoAmazonia will feature stories from a growing number of reporting partners, including O Eco, Finding Species, and Actualidad Ambiental, about environmental issues in the Amazon and contextualize them with rich geographic datasets on deforestation, fires, oil drilling, mining, and farming. The project was proposed by Brazilian journalist Gustavo Faleiros, a Knight International Journalism Fellow of the International Center for Journalists.

Forest cover and deforestation in the Amazon. Green areas: forest height (0-73m) sensed 2010-2011, green hatched areas: area deforested between 1976-1991, yellow areas: deforestation (2005-2011). Data: NASA (forest height), IBGE (deforestation 1976-1991), INPE (deforestation 2005-2011)

One of the two main themes of the Rio+20 conference will be the green economy, making this an incredibly timely launch. InfoAmazonia aims to contribute to the debate for more sustainable development by providing adequate information about the ongoing destruction of a unique and unrecoverable resource.

This effort builds on an O Eco initiative from 2010 that collected environmental news from across the Amazon, spanning nine countries, on topics ranging from deforestation to extractive industries and indigenous issues.

Journalist trainings, Mark your calendar

An integral part of the launch of InfoAmazonia will be a training program for journalists to improve their capacity to leverage environmental data and geographic information to discover and contextualize stories. The tentative date is Sunday, June 17 in the afternoon. The training will take place right in the center of Rio at iBase on Sunday, June 17 9.30AM to 1.30PM.

Sign up here.

For updates on InfoAmazonia and journalist trainings, follow @infoamazonia or @developmentseed on Twitter.

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