The exploitation of natural resources has been one of the hallmarks of technological development since the industrial revolution. It's evident that technology has distanced itself from nature, and this is mostly because of financial returns rather than because of an essential opposition between technology and nature. The consequences of this disequalibrium are betrayed unmistakably by the necessity to engage in environmental politics. Communications and information technology play a crucial role in constituting the means and relations between the world's citizens. As experts of various disciplines have said, measures to restrain the accelerating environmental deterioration must be global in scope. The crisis demands commitment on political, economic, and social fronts.

As with other sectors of economic activity, it's important that mobile phone companies take a reasonable position with regard to environmental protection and the preservation of natural resources. Not only because of their economic power, but also because of the role they play in transnational communication and the phenomenon of globalization.

THE REASONS TO MOBILIZE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK, THE PROJECT

Digital Jungle Simiomobile invites telecommunication companies to show leadership and commit to preserving biodiversity.

SIMIOMOBILE ON THE CELL PHONE JUNGLE

The Simiomobile kit is composed by one hardware modification module to custom the looking of the telephone and a software module with a set of applications. The Simiomobile user get acces to a series of extra services, related to the species you choose to sponsor, like reception of SMS text messages when news arises that's relevant to the survival of the species, web access to your profile, and networking services for finding others with similar interests and other tools that insure communications between the users of the Digital Jungle like free messages within each animal sponsor group by bluetooth.

Coltan: the deadly ore

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The metallic ore coltan is responsible for an armed conflict that has caused the death of four million people since 1997 and has annihilated the mountain gorilla populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Coltan is a very rare mineral used for high technology applications. Its extraction has led to a lengthy armed conflict in the country, which in the last decade (since 1997) has caused more than four million casualties. The struggle for the control of the ore mines, as well as the mining of diamonds, is the reason why this conflict has lasted for so long, and has caused so many deaths ignored by the international community. There are still famines in many regions of this country, whose foreign debt is staggering. However, it is one of the richest countries in the world, as the Congo Basin is the second largest rain forest.

Besides, in the National Park Kakuzi Biega, where coltan is mined, hundreds of gorillas have been killed; several populations of this critically endangered ape have been lost forever. When the area was declared as national park, indigenous tribes were expelled and left to their own devices, without anybody taking care of them. Every day, children day from illness or malnutrition because hospitals are not well equipped. Thousands of civilians have fled into the jungle, where they face hunger and disease. In less than one decade, an estimated four million people have died, mostly from hunger and diseases caused by the conflict. This has been the war with most casualties since World War II: thousand deaths per day. Other thousands were crippled, children were raped; in an unspeakable aberration, parents were forced to cannibalize their own murdered children. The world looked away from this hell due to obvious economic interests. Foreign mercenaries fuelled the confrontations by exchanging weapons for prized metals; these mercenaries were paid by the civilized world, the same world that used the raw materials smelling of death, that was terrified by the slaughter, that sent UN Blue Helmets to do nothing.

The Great Ape Project has asked both the Government of Spain and the international community to cancel the foreign debt of this country based on blood, and to help the population to fight hunger and disease; in exchange, their government should be asked to respect human rights, to help civilians effectively and to preserve their valuable wildlife, thereby benefitting not only the great ape populations (bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas) and other living beings, but also humanity.

Pedro Pozas Terrados, Managing Director, Great Ape Project (GAP / PGS - Spain) www.proyectogransimio.org

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