Elon Musk’s Starlink could help monitor the Amazon rainforest


Elon Musk’s Starlink could help monitor the Amazon rainforest

The world’s richest person and Brazil’s government are discussing a partnership to monitor the Amazon rainforest via satellite.

Elon Musk met Monday with the Minister of Communications for President Jair Bolsonaro’s government in Austin, Texas, to speak about the possibility of using satellite technology provided by the entrepreneur’s businesses Starlink Inc and Space Explorations Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX, to monitor deforestation and forest fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest.

The two also spoke about bringing internet connectivity to rural schools, health centers and indigenous communities.

“We’re looking forward to providing connectivity to basically the least served people in Brazil,” Musk said in a video posted by Communications Minister Fabio Faria on Twitter.

“Did you think we would stop with the 5G auction?” Faria wrote. “No! Now we will look for companies dealing with innovation to invest in Brazil. We want the country to be the Latin American innovation hub for 5G.”

Faria said more than 4,500 of Musk’s satellites that orbit at low-altitude could be a part of the monitoring, adding that the partnership would also help control illegal fires and deforestation in the Amazon forest.

The Bolsonaro administration is under pressure from the international community, including foreign governments and multinational companies, to clean up the country’s environmental record and take more serious action to protect the Amazon.

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