Saving the Rainforest With Google

Chief Almir at Google

Photo Credit: Daniel Deme / WENN

Boom Alive says “Saving the Rainforest (Finally).”

That is exactly how I feel.

Decades ago, the issue seemed pressing. Now, given global environmental signals, it has become imperative. But who will be the champion?

And that is where the story begins

Chief Almir, of Brazil’s Surui tribe, left his homeland in the rainforest and headed for California. Not to seek gold or a movie deal, though … Chief Almir was bound for Google headquarters, where he asked for help in his people’s efforts to protect tribal land from timber thieves.

But there’s more

Chief Almir’s father, you see, had drawn a line in the rainforest by standing up to a logging truck full of scoundrels and their firearms–with nothing but a bow and arrow in his hands and a decision to do something to stop the incursion. Already, the land leading up to Surui territory had been cleared of timber and lay wasted and barren.

He would not allow the same to happen on his turf

By the time the job of Chieftain was handed down to Almir, the world was connected by the internet and Google Earth graphically showed the unbridled destruction of rainforest in the region. Almir saw there was a better way to fight back–and Google agreed.

Fast forward a few years and the Surui, with Google’s support, has produced a tour of their land. That poignant adventure is accessible below.

Update: Google is helping. We can too. Save the Rainforest … who, me?


  1. […] “Don’t be evil.” I would still love to see that culture return. I wrote about Google’s work with the Surui tribe, for instance, and I love that Google did that. Like Josh, though, I think Google needs people to […]

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