Thinking Globally, Mapping Locally

By Alexandria Corneiro, Charles Cooper, Dallas Ripka, Samantha Finch, and Vincent Melita

While in Brazil to film a documentary about the environmental impact of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, the Pace University Producing the documentary class will participate in a global initiative known as Green Mapping.

photo credit a Dufour

The Brazilian flag flies over the sea. Photo Credit: Carlos Dufour

Wendy Brawer, a sustainability consultant and artist , created green mapping in 1995. Currently, there are over 850 maps of green businesses and environmental assets in 65 countries across the world. Each map is unique to the specific goals of the local mapmakers in their various communities.

Professor Claudia Green, a Pace New York City instructor whose students will be joining the Pace Documentary class in Brazil, describes the project as “a global sociocultural movement that promotes community based mapping of sustainable authentic features of these local environments.”

Throughout Brazil there are several Green Map locations designed to support local sustainability efforts by entrepreneurs throughout the region. Among these places are Paraty and Ilha Grande.

In 2005, after six years of taking Pace students to Brazil,Professor Green and several partners created the first Green Map in Paraty – a restored coastal town that is a tourism hub

Leandro Neumann Ciuffo via Flickr

Leandro Neumann Ciuffo via Flickr

According to the Professor Green, “Paraty was a perfect Green Map location because of the history, colonial Portuguese architecture, natural beauty, and the many entrepreneurial businesses from art and cultural and tour companies, pousadas and restaurants.”

The Paraty Green Map website launch in 2006 and continues to be updated each year.

This colonial fishing village located between two of Brazil’s largest cities Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo has several environmentally friendly sites.

Among all the accommodations in Paraty, Pousada da Colonia stands out for its focus on environmentally sustainability . The current owner, Former Mayor José Cláudio Araújo, has an organic farm that supplies food for the pousada. The staff also separates waste and filters their water.

In the “Centro Historico” of Paraty lies Casa da Cultura, which houses many cultural artifacts tracing back to the origins of the town. There are many interviews, through both audio and video, of various residents over the years, recording much of Paraty’s local history. The museum itself is fairly new, having been built in 2004. It is operated by the native residents of Paraty.

Glauco Umbelino via Flickr

Glauco Umbelino via Flickr

The Shambhala Day Spa is another Paraty establishment that practices sustainable techniques. Located on the edge of the Serra da Bocaina, one of Paraty’s neighboring Brazilian National Parks, the spa selects certain partners for many its ecologically sound development projects that have had positive effects on Paraty’s nature, health and society. One of their projects is the Reserva da Biosfera da Mata Atlantica, which is a national council that researches alternative sustainable use of environmental resources to protect its biosphere reserves.

In 2010 the Ilha Grade Green Map was created. Ilha Grande itself was offline to tourism until 1995. Since then the island has struggled to maintain it pristine and untouched oasis as local and international tourism increases on the island.

All across the island, several resorts have made sustainable changes to their accommodations. One such destination is the Sagu Mini Resort on the northeastern side of the island. This colonial style resort is built using wood, rock, and stone. Nine of the rooms of the pousada have solar panels. In addition, the hotel serves local food including fish and features furniture built within Brazil.

 O Verde Eco & Adventure Tours is another local businesses featured on the Ilha Grande Green Map. Owned by Gigi Courau, this tour guide service supports sustainability in Ilha Grande by offering tours on land and by water for individuals and groups.

O Verde Eco & Adventure Tours provides tours on land and on sea. Photo Credit: Claudia Green

O Verde Eco & Adventure Tours provides tours on land and on sea. Photo Credit: Claudia Green

As the World Cup and Summer Olympics approach, local mapmakers, as well as Professor Green, are in the beginning stages of developing a green map of sustainable businesses in Rio de Janeiro, the home of these major sporting events.

“It is our hope that the map will be used by the many tourists who will be coming to Brazil so that can support those businesses who demonstrate sustainable practices — socially, culturally, environmentally and economically,” said Professor Green.

Everyone on our Pace Brazil team is excited to have the opportunity to chart a sustainable future” by chronicling efforts to limit environmental and social regrets as Brazil’s mega-sports push builds.

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