NGOs and media activists launch Brazil’s first digital platform for environmental activism
São Paulo, Brazil – November 7, 2011. Brazil’s first digital platform for environmental activism goes live: www.revela.org.br
The Revela platform is a collaborative effort, where users help build a map flagging deforestation, wild fires, water and soil contamination, threats to endangered species, as well as positive initiatives that are helping the environment.
The Revela website and mobile applications empower users, by allowing them to add geo-tagged information to a map that tracks the environmental issues. The platform is based on the Ushahidi open-source software, which is used in the mapping of crisis situations through information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Most recently, the Ushahidi platform has been used by the Red Cross during the Haiti earthquake.
The Revela initiative is the brain child of a group of media professionals and artists, supported by the NGOs Imaflora and Imazon, as well as by David Kobia – Ushahidi’s creator.
NGO Imazon Institute will be providing the large database of geo-tagged environmental data. According to Carlos Souza Jr., senior researcher at the institute “The Revela platform will integrate on-the-ground data submitted by users, with satellite data. As a result, we will be able to better understand the environmental risks, and learn about practical solutions being used to address the environmental problems”
The debut of Revela comes together with three TV commercials being broadcast on MTV Brazil, as well as online. The commercials explain how Revela works, along with a message that is sure to resonate with a young audience. The scripts were written by Caco Galhardo, and directed by Bia Guedes and Gustavo Guimarães.
Another founder of Revela is Maria Zulmira de Souza, an environmental journalist who specializes in sustainability and is on the board of several private and not-for-profit companies “We want to reach out to a younger audience as they are very sensitive to all environmental issues, but currently have few channels by which they can become active in the cause and make a difference”.
Using Revela is easy: users connect to the site, or via mobile app & text messages, and send information and pictures to the Revela platform. The system will display the data on a map in real time. “What we are offering is an opportunity for people to use technology to engage in the construction of a vital environmental database, and by doing so strengthen our society, democracy and the environment”, says Luís Fernando Guedes Pinto, Imaflora’s Certification Manager and one of the activists that helped Revela become a reality.
Context: Rio +20
Revela was conceived at a delicate moment in Brazil’s history. The Rio+20 – The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – will take place in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, and will engage leaders and activists from around the world towards the common theme of our planet’s future and viability.
In addition to that, a new environmental protection law is soon to be voted in the Brazilian Senate. There are currently enormous negative pressures on Brazil’s environment. The fast-growing economy means more and more land being deforested to make space for grassing lands and plantations. There are also issues that hit closer to home: recycling, urban landfills, smog, just to name a few. All of these pressing problems, as well as good news and actions, can be found and located via the Revela platform.
It is easy to join and help: go to www.revela.org.br. There you will be able to add information such as text, pictures, and videos. The information will be overlaid onto the Brazilian map, showing the location of environmental problems, as well as positive initiatives that are helping the environment. You can also participate by staying on top of the latest developments on the ground via Twitter and Facebook. And don’t forget to check our promo videos:
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For additional information or a sample copy:
Phone: + 55 11 5407 7189
Public Relations Imaflora Institute Brazil
Phone: + 55 11 8274 5553
Public Relations Imazon Institute
Phone: + 55 91 3182 4014