Juliana Rotich Ars Cloud09


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The cloud as a hub for environmentalism, as seen through actions and self organization in sub saharan Africa.

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  • Introduction: Currently @GV covering environment and energy related blogosphere.
  • From conversation with Colin McClay - These are the 3 big challenges. Of these, the major anxiety gripping the world is that of the effects of climate change.
  • (map from Economist - showing effect of climate change on Africa http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/the_economist_a.php) and link to IPCC’s report on climate change:
    You can take the InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC’s word for it http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg2.htm
    or look around at your local environment, and see how it has changed over the last 20 years. When growing up in Kenya we had wild African grey parrots come to our house. I would feed them grain. I left Kenya to study in the US in 1997. When i went back home 5 years later in 2002, they were so few, and when i went back in 2005 there were’t any at all. Their habitat, a nearby forest had been cleared away. Climate change is real, even my grandmother knows it. When the weather patterns cause the rain season to change, farmers know something is definitely wrong. You’d be hard pressed to find climate change deniers in Sub Saharan Africa...
    “Around 600,000 square kilometres of cultivable land may be ruined. Rising sea levels would threaten coastal infrastructure in Egypt, Senegal and the Gulf of Guinea, an important oil-producing region. Another study by the University of Pretoria estimates that $25 billion may be lost in crop failure because of rising temperatures."”
  • Destruction of 100,000 ha of forest since 2000. Mau forest is one of the 5 ‘water towers’ in Kenya, others being the Aberdare range, Mt Elgon, Mt Kenya and Cherangani hills.
    More information on the Mau complex http://www.unep.org/dewa/assessments/EcoSystems/Land/mountain/pdf/Mau_crisis_2008.pdf
  • http://twitpic.com/g6dk0 sad state of Lake Elementaita taken by @sheila97
  • Photo taken in Nairobi’s suburb of Kileleshwa by Limo Taboi http://bankelele.blogspot.com. It is so dry, Maasai’s bring their cows to graze in the city.

    BBC Audio slideshow on the drought in Kenya http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8227000/8227391.stm
  • Photo taken in Nairobi’s national park : http://baraza.wildlifedirect.org/2009/09/05/drought-cattle-and-anthrax-threatens-nairobi-park/
  • The cyclone in Madagascar: January 21st 2009 http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/01/22/madagascar-major-damages-from-tropical-storm-eric-cyclone-fanele/

    Picture by Lomelle http://as2coeur.wordpress.com/
  • CC licensed photo from Transaid Images - taken in Ghana http://www.flickr.com/photos/transaid/192565603/
  • It is depressing and overwhelming. However, I think there is hope. While the United Nations meet in Copenhagen, While world leaders pay lip service to climate in their speeches, there are people doing good things for the environment.I will start with some general examples, them move to the Interesting ones that are collaborating online/in the cloud to do this, or using tools online to disseminate information about environmental issues.
  • Corneille Ewango is a former poacher turned botanist and conservationist http://www.flickr.com/photos/teresehart/3276319339/

    He was in charge of the Okapi Faunal Reserve's botany program in DRC (Ituri Rainforest) from 1996 to 2003

    uncovered over 200 species of lianas and 600 of trees

  • Picture: cc licensed by Matthew Berry on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewberry/263477713/
    Activism using mobile phones, to avert the sale of Mabira forest to a sugarcane plantation company. The people in Uganda took to the streets in opposition to the sale. Not exactly an example of cloud intelligence...but do hold that thought. Mobile phones are increasingly important in the developing world. If we are to imagine a solution, it has to include a mobile component.


    About the forest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabira_Forest
    About the protests:http://inanafricanminute.blogspot.com/2007/04/dark-side-of-mobilization.html and http://globalvoicesonline.org/2007/04/08/uganda-blog-awards-digital-activism-to-protect-rainforest-and-more/ and http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Violence_in_Uganda_over_forest_clearing_proposal
  • The story of Tamer Mabrouk - Egyptian blogger sued for slander, by a chemical company, just because he took pictures showing how the company was polluting Manzalla river.
    -Anti corruption/activist http://globalvoicesonline.org/2007/06/28/egypt-freedom-of-worship-blogs-to-the-press-anti-torture-campaigns-continue-and-more/
    Bad day for blogging in Egypt http://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/2009/01/bad-day-for-blogging-in-egypt.html
  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=98061395494&ref=ts : Visiting different charities every month, Conservation areas, Save our seas foundation. Making the connection between people and causes more direct.

    urban sprout: Directory of green businesses (for those planning to attend the world cup in SA - their green directory is indispensable)

    CANE - http://www.cane.org.za/’CANE has been formed as an umbrella group comprising community organisations, residents’ associations, NGOs, academics, professionals, unionists, environmentalists and ordinary citizens now grappling with the spectre of nuclear developments in their back yards.

    They represent a groundswell of ordinary people who want government to act democratically in seeking alternative energy crisis and climate change solutions.
  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8627316778&ref=ts

    http://ecokenya.org/flf-friends-of-the-lembus-forest/ Using Facebook to organize tree-planting excursions. They have gotten support from the forest rangers and Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Using new media to champion conservation throughout Africa. Even fundraising.
  • Using new media to champion conservation throughout Africa. Even fundraising.
  • Taking the online talk and collaboration to offline action. Imagine visiting the white sandy beaches in Malindi, Kenya, and helping to clean the plastic rubbish from the public beach, based on information on your mobile phone or dopplr summary.
  • Static data like ‘The Atlas of our changing environment. A publication by the United Nations Environment program. It is a great resource, but it is 60MB in size, and would cost 60Euro to have it shipped to you. How about providing that data in a dynamic map that shows the information as a google earth layer, and eventually creating a mobile phone application with an index of the most pressing environmental issues for each location? Like Dopplr for the environment?
  • Cost of having the atlas mailed -80 dollars. cost of viewing a map online - darn near zero/not 60 euro.
    Mashups showing the cost of renewable energy, giving people options. Solar map in SF asks you to enter your address - to see what solar can do for you.

  • Solar map in SF: Insert pic of the solar map. speaking of which, energy issues are closely tied with environmental issues.
    Ties into the idea of dynamic data in a form that is useful to users, hyperlocal and relevant. More examples http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/01/28/using-web20-tools-for-environmental-activism/
    Example from South Africa http://www.carbonsmart.com/maps/
  • The problem has largely been connecting africa to the rest of the world. Last month, Kenya was connected to the fibre optic cable...but it also had frequent brown outs with power rationing. Why? The environment problem! Kenya is dependent on Hydroelectric power - river flow has been low this year due to the aforementioned drought. the idea of incremental infrastructure would have provided a way for renewable energy to be incorporated into infrastructure. (http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2007/08/05/incremental-ideas/)
    The free market though is making some of this happen - KDN has started to use solar energy to help buffer it from electricity problems from KPLC. (http://afromusing.com/2009/07/26/kenya-data-networks-opts-for-solar-energy/)
  • This is one of the most important platforms where I come from. And I really do have to mention that the killer feature here is the flashlight. mobile platform is the only real platform for mass market communication efforts in Africa.- Erik Hersman It is such a part of life, and has transformed communications and culture in many parts of Africa. The mobile phone can be used to discover environmental issues, help document environmental concerns, and help document action on the same. For many getting online for the first time, their first interaction with the cloud will be through the mobile phone. So its importance cannot be underestimated. We’ve already seen how the mobile phone can be indispensable for activism as shown by the Mabira forest protests in Uganda.
  • MPESA is used to disburse money to farmers in Mt. Kenya for planting trees. 3-10k every three months. Social transfer, incentives for farmers to plant trees. Allan Koome of Clean Air Action Corporation. > 6000 transactions. Imagine linking this to KIVA or to the Cap and Trade system for emissions


    http://www.creditsms.org/home/index.php?categoryid=19 : Mobile Money Transfer directory
  • What you can do:: Tools and mashups are not enough, you have to create a community, support existing online communities like Global Voices and Rising Voices grantees, Prix Ars grantees:
    Resistance: People can be too busy to engage, you could be too busy to engage on environmental issues. But people can incorporate environmental action in their daily lives
  • A change in outlook. hyperlocality, moving from online ‘slacktivism’ as Evgeny Morozov calls it, to offline action. Imagine visiting the white sandy beaches in Malindi, Kenya (Geek corps for the environment), and helping to clean the plastic rubbish from the public beach.
  • Acting locally: Starting new traditions like the Perry Family in South Africa
    : In their effort to help save the planet, a

    Johannesburg family has decided to plant a new tree every time one of them celebrates a birthday.The Perry family’s new tradition was born recently when the youngest member, Chetan, turned five. Give away trees as wedding gifts
  • Foko Madagascar is an amazing group of bloggers who share new media tools and organize tree planting sessions in Madagascar. There is still a need for the people coming online in Sub saharan Africa to know what tools are available and how they can use those tools to not only express themselves, but to also champion a cause that is meaningful to them.
  • share with others online and join the movement for environmental change.
  • The Nest Home Limuru - Kenya
  • Shatilla Camp - Palestine
  • Faith, planting a tree at her In-Laws...showing traditions
  • Solidarity may take the form of
  • Juliana Rotich Ars Cloud09

    1. 1. The Cloud as a hub for environmental change Juliana Rotich
    2. 2. The Big Anxiety Inducers Environment, Education & Health 2
    3. 3. Climate Change: 3
    4. 4. Kenya: Mau Forest 4
    5. 5. Lake Elementaita drying up 5
    6. 6. Kenya: Drought 6
    7. 7. Kenya: Drought 7
    8. 8. East Africa: Floods
    9. 9. Madagascar: Cyclones 9
    10. 10. 10
    11. 11. Everywhere: Pollution 11
    12. 12. :( right? 12
    13. 13. DRC: Corneille Ewango 13
    14. 14. Uganda: Mabira Forest 14
    15. 15. Egypt: Blogger Tamer Mabrouk
    16. 16. South Africa: 16
    17. 17. Friends of Lembus Forest 17
    18. 18. 18
    19. 19. 19
    20. 20. Imagine... 20
    21. 21. Static Data => Dynamic environment data 21
    22. 22. The Atlas of our changing Environment (a pdf) => Mashup of our changing environment (a map) 22
    23. 23. 23
    24. 24. 24
    25. 25. The interface to the cloud of dynamic data...
    26. 26. Mobile Money Transfers as Incentives for action on the environment
    27. 27. What you can do... 28
    28. 28. Act individually, locally. Incorporate action with daily life. 29
    29. 29. Support Outreach Efforts...
    30. 30. Share online Tags: #Greensouls #GlobalVoices 31
    31. 31. Limuru, Kenya 32
    32. 32. Palestine 33
    33. 33. Rift Valley, Kenya 34
    34. 34. Toamasina - Madagascar 35
    35. 35. Hyperlocal Enviroment Action enabled & curated by cloud intelligence