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The Future Earth We Want

Earth observation imagery reveals yet another case of alarming deforestation, this time in Indonesia. In just about 12 years, Indonesia lost primary forests of the size of Sri Lanka at twice the deforestation rate of Brazil! This, however, is not an isolated case where ‘greed’ has overtaken human ‘need’ pushing several floral and faunal species to the brink of extinction, contributing to global warming. Technology tools are often touted as the panacea to face such global challenges but hardware, software, data organisation and algorithms alone will not bring the intended benefits.

The Rio+20’s outcome document, ‘The Future we want’, recognises ‘people to be the centre of sustainable development’ and commits to work for environmental protection. In this context, DigitalGlobe’s campaign in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy to preserve Hawaii’s native forests using its Tomnod crowdsourcing platform is a remarkable initiative in making people as partners in environmental protection. Though the initiative may seem humble at the moment, creating waves of grassroot awareness with actionable technology tools is the only way to augur sustainable development that is just, equitable and inclusive.

Published as Editorial in – Geospatial World Weekly .. in all new avatar!

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