Chief Almir Surui Day, October 4 2008, San Francisco

Google Earth brings the Amazon closer.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has issued a proclamation declaring October 4th as “Chief Almir Surui Day.” It is also hats off to all those Googlers who were involved in making it happen. In June, these Googlers went to the Amazon to train indigenous people including Chief Almir’s Surui tribe on how to use Google Earth, You Tube and other Internet tools to show the world what is at stake with deforestation in the Amazon. The tribes are using this knowledge to preserve their history, culture, and develop a long-term sustainability plan to protect their rainforest and create economic opportunity.

Today Chief Almir and the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) are in the Bay Area to attend the world premiere of a documentary film by Denise Zmekhol called Children of the Amazon. This is a story about cloud computing from under a lush canopy of Amazon rainforest, where a group of emerging technologists are eager to share their story about their culture and their plan to preserve their forest and their way of life.

There is an online account of the Googlers’ trip and you can also see Memories of the Amazon which shows some of their favorite moments.

The work of the Amazon conservation team is extremely important and it is most gratifying to see the involvement of Google in this activity. Chapeau!