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Taking Technology to Scale
With its warm, wet climate and vast expanse of 2.7 million square miles of land, the Amazon River basin has the potential to become one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions—essential for feeding a global population that’s fast-approaching eight billion.
Yet, at the same time, the Amazon rainforest is an invaluable—and imperiled--natural resource. According to Conservancy scientists, no other place is more critical to human survival. The basin, which is about the size of the United States and touches eight countries, harbors one-third of the planet’s biodiversity, produces one-fourth of the fresh water and plays a key role in warding off the worst effects of climate change.
In the past 45 years, nearly 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down, according to Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research, and deforestation continues. So it’s critically important for a large portion of the remaining forest to be preserved.
That’s why TNC is teaming up with IBM’s Corporate Service Corps
to help with one of its most critical projects—an effort to make it easier for municipalities in the Brazilian Amazon to establish land-ownership records, monitor land use and, potentially, stop illegal deforestation in its tracks.
TNC’s Municipal Environmental Portal (PAM) has been used by a handful of Brazilian municipalities in a pilot phase to assess land use and compliance with Brazil’s revised Forest Code. Now the organization wants to expand the portal’s capabilities and broaden its use—potentially to more than 100 municipalities in Brazil’s Amazon region.
Conservancy staff are working with IBM employeesto help advance the PAM technology and develop a plan for encouraging its adoption throughout the region. Together, they are looking to encourage other stakeholders to contribute in ways that align with local strategies and goals.
For updates on the status of our work in the Amazon, view the project blog