To borrow a leaf from the Global voices Sub Saharan Editor's post on cyber-activism in the aftermath of the elections in Kenya; we take a look at how environmental bloggers and activists are using web 2.0 tools to bring attention to issues ranging from deforestation, conservation and global warming, and the Web 2.0 tools being used to share information, photos, videos and raise funds.
From Ghacks, we are directed to two environmental mashups. The first is Terrapass, which helps calculate CO2 emissions from airplane travel.
TerraPass helps you calculate your carbon footprint, learn how to reduce it, and balance it out through the purchase of verified carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are a means of funding clean energy and carbon reduction projects that help to fight global warming.
The second is Floodmaps
With talk about sea level rising it is important to get a visual idea of what would happen if the sea level would rise for a certain amount of meters. Floodmaps simulates this by dynamically changing the map.
MapEcos is a collaborative website designed to provide an evenhanded view of industrial environmental performance. It combines information on industrial pollution with information from facility managers about their environmental improvement efforts. In other words, MapEcos is the first public website to tell both sides of the story
Mashups are being used to hyperlocalize useful information such as recycling locations. An example of this comes from Ideum, a company that created the google maps mashup for finding recycling centers in Torrance California.
Where to Recycle in Torrance, California, helps city residents to easily find recycling centers based on the items they wish to recycle. The concept is simple: the easier it is to recycle, the more recycling will happen.
Another mashup to take a note of is Explore our planet. It uses layers over google maps to show information about the planet, such as annual CO2 emissions by region/country and tropical storms.
An advanced map interface with near realtime extensions, satellite photos and thousands of other maps illustrate hurricanes, tropical storms and earthquakes when they happen.
Blogs and Video
The wildlife direct blogs are a strong example of how to use video, audio and pictures for the environmental causes of conservation, wildlife protection and scientific research on endangered species. Richard Leakey, a pre-eminent conservationist records video clips discussing matters of climate change and whaling, then posts them on his blog, making his environmental commentary accessible to all on the internet.
The education of the younger generation about conservation and the environment is exemplified by the postings on the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya blog (also part of wildlife direct.) The mobile education unit goes out to the schools in Kenya, showing video and conversing with children about the need for conservation and appreciation of the natural environment. The blog posts video of one such visit, and continues to chronicle its work in Kenya.
The Gorilla protection blog has used the internet to reach out the world with information and updates from war torn DRC. They have also used their blog to raise funds specifically for purchasing wood fuel for displaced people in DRC. The success of their appeal is shown by a post on the 18th indicating that the fuel wood campaign they initiated a month ago surpassed its $20K goal.
The wildlife direct group of blogs also use the popular ‘micro blogging' tool twitter to send updates about wildlife protection and conservation efforts in Africa.
Twitter channel: Wildlife Direct
DRC: Uplifting blog post about the women in Lomami, living independently in a man's world. http://tinyurl.com/ynv7xl 12:33 PM January 22, 2008
DRC: Wanza the 2 yr old chimp recovers from flu; read more about his bar hopping, beer drinking youth here http://tinyurl.com/2bf26f 09:02 AM January 22, 2008
DRC: Elephant suffers agonizing death from “Jaw Trap”. It only takes a few dollars of support to help stop this… http://tinyurl.com/2f33gc 08:51 PM January 21, 2008
Kenya: We hardly know anything about Whale Sharks. Almost nothing. Donate a few bucks to help get the ball rolling http://tinyurl.com/28e4sr 12:35 PM January 21, 2008
Kenya: Maasai elder remembers days when murran warriors, at nighttime, would pry lions off cattle with bare hands http://tinyurl.com/38eba5 09:22 AM January 21, 2008
Cameroon: 1220 African grey parrots arrive in one day, the job now is to pull out damaged feathers. Lots of them. http://tinyurl.com/2yejb4 08:47 PM January 20, 2008
Kenya: Imagine..you're bored and you're an elephant; to help pass the time you imitate the sound of trucks. http://tinyurl.com/2k2huc 03:50 PM January 19, 2008
Global Voices Environment used its twitter channel last year to micro-blog live from the United Nations Climate change conference, and endeavors to use the twitter tool in future when attending environment related conferences and events. Please do comment if you know of other environmental tweeters so we can follow them online.
The environment flickr group pools photos from over 960 members, creating a visual treasure trove of pictures ranging from flowers, animals, windmills and more.
Foko- Madagascar's flickr stream includes photos from rural madagascar and the organizations' efforts in the area to plant trees and encourage a sustainable way of life.
There are many organizations on facebook that are dedicated to the environment, clicking on the selected images below will take you a sampling of facebook groups.
The Green Belt Movement
From South Africa, Mike Stopforth who is a speaker, blogger and web entrepreneur asked on his site if someone could create a badge to show readers that he cares about the environment. The designer heeded the call and created a badge that you can download and use on your site.