Deforestaction project: when technology meets environment

The jungle of Borneo may seem like a world away from the urban comforts of our civilised world but Fabrice Marre,originally from France, is competing to be part of a global collaborative project to save orangutans and halt deforestation, which would take him to Borneo for five months.

Fabrice explained he is working as a mapping specialist to help protect the planet. “I chose this job because I wanted to make a difference. Seen from above, analysis of satellite images paint a frightening picture of Borneo”

Deforestation is a global problem, not only in tropical countries but all around the world but Indonesia has the highest deforestation rate in the world. While politicians – usually focused on short-term economic issues – don’t give enough importance to this problem, Borneo’s biodiversity-rich forest is inexorably vanishing.

During the past twenty years, two millions acres have been cleared annually. Industrial large-scale clearing of forests for monocrop agriculture such as palm oil is the main cause of deforestation in this region. In addition, gold mining is causing an ecological disaster, polluting rivers and affecting the local people.

In Borneo and Sumatra, consequences of deforestation are dramatically impacting the local biodiversity and orangutans are one of the many victims. Powerless against human environmental dictatorship, some associations such as the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, laid by Dr Willie Smits, have been fighting on their behalf.

“Raising awareness about the importance of conservation is a major step towards a better future, that’s what the deforestaction project is all about” Fabrice said.

TakingITGlobal is working together with Microsoft Partners in Learning on the DeforestAction project. Using the power of the web and the media, schools and young people from all over the planet are uniting to fight deforestation. In collaboration with Willie Smits, the project will save endangered rainforest and orangutans, create awareness about the destruction caused by deforestation, restore a full forest eco-system and provide a sustainable livelihood for the local community. The project will also create Dome Tree, the world’s largest and most technology-rich orangutan sanctuary on earth where these endangered creatures will have interactive touch-screen computers to order their meals.

Award-winning Australian production company Virgo Productions is developing a 3D feature documentary about the project in collaboration with National Geographic Entertainment. Shooting will take place over five months in Borneo, commencing in July 2011. Cathy Henkel, (The Burning Season, The Man who Stole my Mother’s Face) will produce and direct Project Borneo 3D: An Action Movie, to be shot by acclaimed cinematographer Don McAlpine (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, Wolverine) and Paul Nichola (Cane Toads: The Conquest 3D).

The search for ten amazing young leaders to spend five months in Borneo to implement the Deforestaction project has begun. These ten action heros will work in the jungle and connect with the world though the web, providing updates for millions of students across the globe who are responsible for driving, developing and owning the project.

Fabrice is one of the candidates.

Our future can sometimes be impacted by the smalleest things and he was about twelve when he saw for the first time “The Emerald Forest”. “No other movie has had such a strong and lasting impact on me. As a kid, I new about deforestation but this movie opened my eyes like never before” he said.

Since then, he has held a strong fascination and respect for rainforests and nature; driving him to move to the Amazon rainforest, devoting his time and energy to work as a satellite mapping specialist. In the last ten years, he has lived in five continents and worked on projects related to illegal fishing, illegal gold mining, deforestation, oil spill monitoring, tsunami recovery efforts and disaster management.

“I believe in the power of movies and media to wake up people, it worked for me. My life is dedicated to making planet Earth a better place and I’m more than ready to act in the field and be the voice, eyes and ears of this project.” he said.

To get involved in the deforestaction project, visit http://deforestaction.com.

This is a guest post by:

Fabrice Marre is a citizen of the world. A native of France, a resident of Australia and a global traveller. Fabrice has seen first-hand the destruction of the World’s ecosystems. As a satellite mapping specialist, Fabrice has contributed to the 2004 Indonesia tsunami reconstruction effort, has monitored oil spills as well as the destruction of the Amazon rainforest from high above.

He is now aiming for the front line to help correct the damage caused by others: http://gg.tigweb.org/tig/deforestaction/48725/

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