IGF 2022 Town Hall #69 The Amazon is online, and it is not the Prime

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (07:45 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (08:45 UTC)

Round Table - Circle - 60 Min


The Amazon Rainforest holds one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Countless species of fauna and flora co-habit the forest’s complex ecosystems in a tense relationship with human economic development. The digital sphere offers challenges and opportunities in that sense, on one hand promoting interconnection to the lives that habit the forest and mechanisms that can prevent environmental destruction. On the other hand, digital endeavors can be themselves a disruption in these ecosystems, and future generations will need to learn how to balance their technology development, not only in the Amazon but in all biospheres in the world. This is precisely the focus of this session: to discuss how internet governance can improve this balance nationally and globally, and how to gather together stakeholders that can cocreate solutions for a fair and sustainable future for all living beings in our world. With this in mind, the session’s goal is to promote a gathering of stakeholders from Brazil, Canada, Spain, England, Germany, Nigeria, Tanzania, India, and the US to discuss how internet governance improves the visibility and understanding of climate and environmental policies and how forests reshape their morphology to welcome tech devices and future ideas. As a result, we hope to answer some questions: 1. What are the existent internet governance mechanisms to ensure connectivity among indigenous territories in the Amazon Rainforest, and how to improve their quality to transform digital connection a reality for all citizens habiting the forest? 2. On which level can internet governance help with the challenging phenomenon of climate and environmental disinformation, and how can social digital platforms be a device to break disinformation cycles among developing countries? 3. And last but not least, how can Internet Governance Forums improve the participation of indigenous populations, sponsoring their voice and their native knowledge in decision-making processes? Furthermore, this diverse gathering will be registered through a written and audiovisual report, sponsoring creative solutions for the problems and questions aforementioned. Finally, this session can be used as a list of recommendations to local governments in order to ensure a fair technological environment for all future generations.

As it is a hybrid conference, we plan to promote a gathering of experts mediated by the device EULE, which is a 360 degrees camera that captures online video and audio from participants and uploads them to any given video call platform, so onsite and online participants can interact. The only requirement to install the EULE is to have a space in which in presence participants can sit in a circle and where a microphone. We plan to promote a hybrid gathering with onsite and online participants, on which IGF participants will be able to approach and interact, as well as make questions and raise concerns. At least eight people will be present and we are searching for funding to bring the rest of the group. In the next following months, participants will be confirmed and may be added to the list according to their interest, relevance, and diversity. Important to say that our proposal will approach inclusion in two ways: inviting people who are part of unprivileged groups and sharing their perspectives about misinformation in this territory. We intend to promote an inclusive debate about the Amazon and the problems that indigenous people suffer in this place. Also, we want to share the alternatives that indigenous are building on the internet, promoting a qualified debate about misinformation and creating ways to share their perspectives. Finally, we plan to discuss how intersectionality can improve internet governance, especially when it comes to making decisions in southern countries.


Beatrice Bonami, Head of Science and Innovation at Instituto Vero, Latin America and Caribbean



Lori Regattieri, Senior Fellow, Mozilla Foundation, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean

Mariana Fillizola, Local Coordinator, Protocolo Ipê, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean

Gustavo Souza, Local Coordinator, Protocolo Ipê, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean

Jader Gama, Leader, Escola de Dados Amazônia, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean

Daniel Nwaeze, MIL Alliance from UNESCO, Nigeria/Africa

Siena Frost, Executive Director, Alliance for Citizen Engagement, USA/North America

Fabio Penne, CETIC.Br, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean

Victor Durigan, Instituto Vero, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean







Onsite Moderator

Laura Pereira, Full Researcher at Instituto Vero, Latin America and Caribbean

Online Moderator

Rodger Richer, Full Researcher at Instituto Vero, Latin America and Caribbean


Isabela Ines Bernardino, Instituto Vero, Brazil/Latin America and the Caribbean



Targets: Our proposal has chosen the following eleven targets: A. 4.7 - By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development B. 9.1- Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all C. 9.b - Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities D. 9.c - Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020 E. 13.3 - Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning F. 15.4 - By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development G. 16.6 - Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels H. 16.7 - Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels I. 17.6 - Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism J. 17.7 - Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed K. 17.8 - Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology With the selected targets and our proposed session, we aim to promote education systems that educate future generations to work for environmental sustainability (SDG 4) and to foster technology that could be locally and nationally developed, as well as its governance features and regulations (SDG 9). Furthermore, it is relevant that populations learn the importance of combating climate change (SDG 13) and healing degraded areas from our forests (SDG 15). Of utmost importance is also the discussion about peace and partnerships (SDG 16 and 17) to promote transparency in local and global affairs and to bring unprivileged groups into the spotlight of decision-making processes about the future.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Youth play an important role in activism for creating public policies that guarantee accessibility for riverside, quilombola, and indigenous populations in the Amazon region since accessibility and interconnectivity are powerful weapons against misinformation.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

It is crucial for organizations, institutions, universities, companies, and governments to invest timely and financial resources in the Nothern region of Brazil, with a special focus on Amazon populational groups and ethnicities. It is our responsibility, as specialists in the field of internet governance, to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equality in projects, meaningfully mobilizing local stakeholders so their voices can be heard.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

Youth play an important role in activism for creating public policies that guarantee accessibility for riverside, quilombola, and indigenous populations in the Amazon region since accessibility and interconnectivity are powerful weapons against misinformation.

Intending to discuss how internet governance can create solutions capable of creating a fair and sustainable future for all people in the world, the Town Hall  session #69 “The Amazon is online, and it is not the Prime," came up to find solutions for connectivity and accessibility for the indigenous, “quilombola” and riverside populations of the Brazilian Amazon forest.

The session featured testimonials from people who already live in the Amazon region and are activists for connectivity and respect for the land. Gustavo Souza (Brazil), a resident of Acre state, for example, highlights an exciting initiative from the Federal University of Acre to tackle a large number of illegal forest fires; they installed IoT devices to monitor the burning in the region, which reaches new records every year.

Another exciting initiative, brought by Lori Regattieri (Brazil), aims to research internet infrastructure and connection points through local Amazonian communities, creating bridges between the different communities so that they can cohort in favor of the environment. In addition, the connection would bring a regional perspective from the point of view of the populations who inhabit the territory.

There are even successful cases in the region. For example, in the state of Amazonas, in the north of Brazil, the Internet has been in implementation for some years now and can therefore bring education opportunities to more distant and low-access regions, allowing students to learn and share their knowledge. Mariana Filizola (Brazil) emphasized, during the session, that talking about the environment is not just dealing with its physical issues but also understanding how people relate to nature, their roles, what they have been producing, and their impacts on others. Thus, the question of connection and access is a challenge. However, there are important cases, mainly concerning constructing an environment for students to understand their role within the Amazon.

CETIC.br,  a Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society in Brazil, acting under the auspices of UNESCO, has already been highlighting evidence that the Amazon region is experiencing a significant increase in internet access. For example, according to Fabio Senne (Brazil), the north region currently has 83% of its population connected, which is a great success in some ways, although, compared to other regions, it still needs to catch up. Furthermore, he emphasized that when we talk about connectivity and access, we also have to talk about meaningful connectivity, as having access to the Internet by itself is no use. This access needs to be effective and has to give a voice to these communities. In that sense, he highlighted how many factors need to be considered to understand meaningful connections.

Karla Braga (Brazil), a resident of the northern region of Brazil, said that, despite celebrating that connectivity in the region is growing, there is still a lot to evolve. In 2020, more than 3 million people still did not have access to the Internet, which directly impacted even public policies involving the issue of COVID-19 and the pandemic. For her, the Internet must become an ally of youth, can foster prosperity and can save lives. She displayed a documentary created by the Institute where she works, which talks about the difficulty of accessing the Internet in the Amazon region. She said that the youth in the region are very active and are fighting to ensure equal connectivity in the region, but not only that, they are also fighting for their rights and the environment.

Entering the topic of connectivity, disinformation, and global health, with particular attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, Siena Frost (USA) brought some perspectives on how the Internet can help with health. During the pandemic, with everyone isolated in their homes, the lack of internet connection made life even more difficult for people. For this reason, for her, students need to start getting more into activism on the Internet. Therefore, young people must develop skills such as leadership and empowerment when discussing the Internet.

From a more academic perspective, Rodger Richer (Brazil) said that misinformation in the Amazon territory is a considerable problem in Brazil. He spoke about some research results of the Protocol Ipê project, carried out by the Vero Institute, where he is part of the research team. Based on these results, he emphasized that some Brazilian politicians are one of the most responsible actors in spreading misinformation about the Amazon rainforest. Therefore, we need to think about solutions to mitigate this problem. In addition, Rodger stated that environmental and climate issues are linked to an ethnic-racial perspective. Therefore, the fight against disinformation in the Amazon must consider the voices of indigenous and local communities. He also spoke about the importance of co-creation with the local population of counter-narratives about environmental and climate problems in the Amazon.

Finally, Victor Durigan (Brazil) closed the debate by talking about how misinformation in the environment becomes a barrier to creating public policies. It hinders the legislative debate, distorting the discourse in favor of the environment. For him, the fight against misinformation has to gain priority within the platforms. They must place the discourse on the defense of the environment as a priority agenda. On the other hand, society has to take the agenda to the creators of public policies, defending scientific grounds. The countries which have the Amazonia in their territory must unite to create laws against environmental and climate misinformation, user protection, democratic discourse, and social values.

It is crucial for organizations, institutions, universities, companies, and governments to invest timely and financial resources in the Nothern region of Brazil, with a special focus on Amazon populational groups and ethnicities. It is our responsibility, as specialists in the field of internet governance, to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equality in projects, meaningfully mobilizing local stakeholders so their voices can be heard, especially the youth. There is a myriad of challenges that contemporary societies face on a daily basis, and most often, they connect to climate change, environmental depredation, and digital inequality. However, the youth can be key game changers within their communities, and they bare the creativity and hope to solve problems, find solutions, and create sustainable dynamics for future democratic societies.