People's Planet Project
People's Planet Project is a global movement with the aim to assist Indigenous communities in their battle against deforestation through the use of video technology and geospatial data.
We train a new generation of Indigenous leaders in evidence-based storytelling through the GeoStory Camps initiative. We provide the tools and skills to produce video content and develop geospatial maps to capture and document forest crimes and environmental change to be used as evidence in court cases that fight for Indigenous land and environmental rights.
An estimated 18 million acres of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year. Indigenous communities are the first people to experience changing climates ranging from extreme droughts to long-lasting rainfall causing floods and havoc.
Through an evidence-based storytelling approach, videography and geospatial mapping are combined as effective and interconnected tools that can document, map and create data-backed but personal audiovisual narratives about deforestation, land-grabbing, human rights abuse, environmental degradation, and so many other topics around which Indigenous communities mobilize. Together, the two tools hold more power than when used alone.
Legal cases fought by Indigenous communities can be strengthened with these tools and support to collate and present the evidence of environmental destruction through film and geospatial data. Through drone footage and images, community members are able to capture and expose the illegal logging and mining within their forest territory. Through mapping tools and databases, Indigenous communities are able to gather spatial data on tree cover loss, fires, and large-scale deforestation. This data provides the trained communities with the geolocation of unsustainable practices and can be used as scientific evidence to back film footage showing the infringement of Indigenous and environmental rights. This combination of storytelling has a great potential to be used as powerful legal evidence to halt deforestation, uphold environmental laws, and preserve Indigenous forest land and territories.
So far, People's Planet Project has carried out Phase I GeoStory Camps with communities in Brazil, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, and partnered with many more around the world in the hopes of bringing these skills to Indigenous communities globally.