Inspiration

The challenges related to animal trafficking are numerous. There are about 10,426 bird species in the world (data from BirdLife International). Of these, 1,919 species are found in Brazil, according to the Brazilian Committee for Ornithological Records (CBRO). This high number of species places Brazil among the three countries with the greatest diversity of birds in the world.

We chose the bird Veery (Catharus fuscescens) as a symbol of the natural link between the United States of America and Brazil; a link that brings together popular knowledge and cutting-edge scientific research. It´s a bird of the order Passeriformes, of the Turdidae family. In Brazil, its coverage area includes almost all biomes, occurring in Tocantins, Pará, Roraima, Amazonas, Rondônia, Mato Grosso, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Maranhão, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná , Santa Catarina.

Ornithologist Christopher Heckscher's 20-year survey was able to predict what the intensity of hurricanes in 2018 would be based on his bird watching alone. In order not to face a storm while flying over the sea, the Veery changes the Delaware departure date according to the intensity and start date of that year's hurricanes.

What it does

Our solution is a marketplace for experiences with birdwatching guides, which can be customized, on an average ticket of R$ 60 reais. We will charge a 10% commission for each sale. And this percentage will be managed by a curatorial commission, with ten representatives, five from the Raposa Serra do Sol Makuxi community (Roraima - Brazil), five members from the Campo Novo dos Parecis Villages (Mato Grosso - Brazil), a representative from the University of Delaware and a representative from the University of Brasilia.

Twenty percent (20%) of the amount collected through sales commissions will be used in field studies on the Veery in Brazil. The remaining eighty percent (80%) will be used by the communities involved through educational projects, to expand the offerings related to environmental and ecosystem services in Brazil.

We aim to create an application called Nature Without Borders, which will use the data present in social networks, identifying the focus groups and those interested in bird watching with people in different communities that may qualify for the care of possible interested parties including international travelers in observing the natural manifestations related to bird groups.

It´s important to point out that the Makuxi, Wapixana, Ingarikó, Taurepang and Patamona peoples inhabit a land called Raposa-Serra do Sol (Land of the Fox and Mountain of the Sun) in the north of Brazil, on the border with Venezuela and Guyana. They are the first indigenous people to receive authorization from FUNAI to carry out cultural experiences in their own land. FUNAI, the National Indian Foundation, is the Brazilian government body that establishes and carries out policies relating to indigenous peoples.

How we built it

We hope to establish a dialogue and exchange of experiences between bird observers experienced in their empirical popular knowledge in relation to groups of scientists, adventurers and enthusiasts; thus stimulating the transition from the cultural perspective and the training of local agents by stimulating education and information, creating collaborative communities within a protection network, in which the main action is the monetization of environmental and ecosystem services in each location.

Challenges we ran into

We seek community involvement, considering that all services of the app must have a link with any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals related to the reduction of social inequalities and environmental preservation, for example. In addition to online activities, the application will be able to receive face-to-face proposals, qualifying experiences in real time, including in the post pandemic moment.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We present you Simone, as our persona, to reflect on the possible needs of a group of people representing one of the data driven survey for this type of service.

Simone is Brazilian. She lives in a large urban center, and makes her own travel itinerary with family and friends. She is fluent in English and prefers to pay for each experience through an application. She used to travel by plane at least three times a year, but now, during the pandemic, she is looking for activities within a radius of up to 300 kilometers from her residence, something that may surprise and inspire her.

She is suspicious of digital tourism because it refers to “fast-food” tourism, and finds the platform's tips very generic, wishing for a really interesting and professional service. It has powerful social networks, and would like a marketplace that focuses on “expert” consumers, with up-to-date information, to set up a different trip.

She associates experience with art and gastronomy workshops, not only during vacation trips, but also on holidays, or close to her neighborhood. Simone has cut spending on travel abroad and uses the financial reserve with organic food, tastings, nature walks. Exclusive locations and bucolic cities with artisans full of history; elements that top her wish list.

What we learned

The reality created by different social issues demonstrates that the legislation and information are barely accessible to the majority of the Brazilian population, being restricted to groups of enthusiasts and direct professionals from related areas, immersed in technical terms that could be didactically translated into incorporated into the daily lives of all citizens.

Such citizens are good representatives for Nature Without Frontiers, as local mobilizers, for the positive transformation of the world.

What's next for NATURE WITHOUT BORDERS - COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES

The financing of this project can be directed as presented, also considering the maintenance of publications and updates, its administrators and for the production of educational material in person and online in the app. Considering that by using social networks in this work, the costs of prospecting customers and other actors are reduced because it already considers the target audience, as well as the mobilizers of this action.

Our twelve-month goal is to reach 600 customers, with monthly revenues of R$ 36.000,00, and 200 service providers, B2B.

In Alto Paraíso and Cavalcante (Goiás-Brazil), we identified twelve birdwatching guides that are not listed in any marketplaces.

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Updates

posted an update

We are in the midst of creating new functions based on a solution presented o the MIT Solve 2020 challenge.

https://solve.mit.edu/challenges/good-jobs-and-inclusive-entrepreneurship/solutions/29428

For validating purposes, we create the app with rapid prototyping technologies. On the client side the app is done with Ionic. On the server side we use Python with a MySQL database on a docker container in the AWS cloud.

At the moment the app does not have functionalities for people with disabilities, but we have been testing some technologies to start integrating them.

For blind persons we’ll use text to speech technologies, like Google Cloud Text-to-Speech. For deaf persons, we’ll integrate Hand Talk Libras technology and for people with varying degrees of visual impairment we’ll use app interface customization, like font size, contrast and colors.

To achieve the maximum flexibility on the app, we’ll rewrite the entire app with the Flutter technology. On the server side we’ll rewrite it to create an App Engine server application. This will give complete availability in all traffic scenarios. Data will be stored in the DataStore, the Google NoSQL database.

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