The Surui tribe of the Brazilian Amazon has struggled to maintain its traditional culture amidst rampant deforestation of its ancestral lands.
The Google Earth Outreach team devised a plan to help the Surui people bring in money while protecting their forests. Google equipped and trained members of the tribe with Android smartphones, which they now use to measure the carbon offsets of the trees on their lands.
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Following four years of collaboration between the Surui people and Google, the project received validation in May. Now companies around the world looking to compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions can buy Surui carbon stock on the international market, and simultaneously help the tribe maintain its way of life.
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Some of the hottest tech trends of 2012, like mobile apps and solar energy, are changing the world for the better. This year, we saw a variety of inspiring innovations tackle some of the world's greatest challenges.
From homelessness to electricity access, government accountability to deforestation, there are few problems tech can't address.
Take a look at these 12 tech solutions to major global challenges. What innovations were you most impressed with this year? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy of Flickr, DFID
This story originally published on Mashable here.