Greenpeace — Tracking Trees: How An Amazon Indigenous Community Is Using Technology to Fight Illegal Logging

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For the Ka’apor people of Brazil, protecting the Amazon rainforest isn’t just about climate change or wildlife. It’s about survival.

Ka’apor Indigenous Community Fight Amazon Destruction

“Our life lies in the forest. Without the forest, we are not the Ka’apor. Ka’apor means ‘forest dwellers’ and this is why we must defend it.”

Ka’apor community leader

Answering a call from the Ka’apor people, Greenpeace Brazil has teamed up with Ka’apor leadership to find safer waysprotect their lands using remote surveillance technology. And this August, Ka’apor and Greenpeace activists met in Alto Turiaçu to make their plans a reality.

Together, Greenpeace and the Ka’apor built more accurate maps of the landscape and installed motion and temperature sensor cameras to document the invasion of logging trucks inside Ka’apor territory. Greenpeace also provided the Ka’apor with electronic tracking devices to monitor logging trucks as they travel in and around the Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land.

This new capacity to monitor for illegal logging remotely makes protecting the forest safer for Ka’apor activists, and provides more information than they’ve ever had before to find and stop illegal operations.

And because these tools capture hard data about the illegal activity of loggers in the region, they can expose how pervasive the problem is—putting pressure on the Brazilian government to act.

Greenpeace is also demanding that buyers of Amazon wood look beyond easily misappropriated official documents to ensure that Amazon timber smuggled from indigenous lands is excluded from their supply chains.

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