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COMMITMENT 39akzente 4/15 > CONTACT Michael Scholze > and the world of cutting-edge technology, in particular satellite surveillance. With the sup- port of satellites and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which is also involved in the project, detailed maps can now be downloaded virtually in real time. The satellites are able to differentiate between old and new vegetation, take into account the relevant carbon volumes, climate parameters and the lie of the land, and even relate data to comparative figures. The maps then form the basis for deci- sions on where to set controlled fires. They are also used in discussions with villagers, who are involved in the process. ‘To begin with we were mistrustful of the gringos,’ say Tavares and others. ‘Then we saw that we could learn from one another. That’s why we now work together.’ They feel they have been acknowledged – and there are fewer conflicts between park management, the fire service and the communities. Over a dozen partners are involved in the project: these include en- vironmental and conservation authorities at national and federal level, the communities themselves, and the administrative bodies that govern the national parks, conservation areas and biosphere reserves. ‘They thought I was completely mad’ Environmental activist Rejane Ferreira Nunes sees one of her main roles as being to mediate between different interest groups. That also applies to the deployment of ‘brigadistas’ – the firefighting brigades, of which Mateiros pro- vides 13 and Jalapão Park alone has 15. In to- tal, GIZ has provided training for more than 1,200 fire brigade employees, farmers and ac- tivists. Warley Rodrigues, who has contributed his considerable experience to the project, ex- plains: ‘When my former colleagues from park management asked me what I was doing with the Germans, I answered: I’m fighting fire with fire. They thought I was completely mad.’ CAPITAL: Brasília POPULATION: 202 million1 GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: USD 2.3 trillion2 ECONOMIC GROWTH: 0.1 per cent3 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX RANKING: 79 (out of 187) Source: 1 2 3 World Bank 2014 PROTECTING THE SAVANNAH ProjeCt: Prevention, control and monitoring of bushfires in the Cerrado Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Lead executing agency: Brazilian Ministry of the Environment TERM: 2011 TO 2017 The Cerrado in central Brazil is one of the largest savannah landscapes in the world. It is also a gigantic sink for climate-damaging carbon dioxide, absorbing around 26,500 tonnes per square kilometre. But the area must be protected if Brazil is to achieve its climate objectives. So the project focuses on the one hand on con- trolled fires. At the same time, it ensures that uncontrolled fires are discovered earlier and extinguished more quickly. The communities involved in the region also use a satellite-supported monitoring system. The German Aerospace Center helped to develop this system. Uncontrolled bushfires are often started deliberately by farmers, who use them in their work. So GIZ has trained over 100 of them in alter- native farming techniques. The project is part of the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. It is implemented in cooperation with KfW Development Bank. BRAZIL Bolivia Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Peru Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Source: 123