Students Social Networking Against Deforestation

In “High Noon: 20 Global Issues, 20 Years to Solve them”, former World Bank Vice-President Jean François Rischard outlined a new approach to global problem solving that involves students building global networks and collaborating to find solutions and act on them. Making this vision a reality, in a new project led by Microsoft and “Taking IT Global” students in Asia Pacific are driving a global movement using the latest technology to help spread global awareness of the damage caused by deforestation.

The students are allowing people from across the planet to buy back at risk land, reporting illegal deforestation activities, studying the growth of plantations, and monitor the progress of adopted orangutan, by using::

  • High definition cameras to monitor forests
  • Bing maps
  • Social networking tools

In doing so, they are not only realising Rischard’s vision, but they are also building the key 21st Century skills of communication and collaboration, analysis and planning.

The “DeforestAction” website ( is the action centre headquarters and public face of the project.

For teachers wishing to find out more or implement the program into your class visit the Taking IT Global (TIG) Educator Zone which contains curriculum materials and support.  

Learn more about this project visit

(Thanks to Sean Tierney and Matthew Clarke for this article)