May 21, 2022


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Smart technology at the service of biodiversity with Huawei and its partners

One of biodiversity’s greatest peaks, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN WCC) conference opened in Marseille last week. Conservationists, world leaders and international organizations have come together to share their thoughts on protecting nature. During the opening ceremony, President Emmanuel Macron issued a warning: “There is no vaccine in the face of a sick planet. The fight against climate change is inextricably linked to the preservation and restoration of biodiversity.”

To combat climate change and biodiversity loss, it is essential to share common values ​​and take collective action. Huawei is an IUCN partner and is committed to advancing nature conservation and protecting diversity with the help of advanced digital technologies. This vision is part of the IUCN’s Actions and Commitments, which aims to find innovative approaches to conserve and protect our planet for future generations.

The latest data indicates that the global ecosystems on which we depend are deteriorating at an ever-increasing rate. In Europe and Central Asia, only 23% of the species and 16% of its habitats are not considered threatened. According to the WWF Living Planet 2020 report, 1,677 European species out of 15,060 are at risk of extinction. Human activity negatively impacts our economy, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.

There is an urgent need to protect biodiversity. Unfortunately, the possibilities for reaction are rapidly diminishing, while the cost of inaction is constantly increasing. In response, Huawei has launched several nature conservation projects as part of its TECH4ALL environmental initiative. This long-term commitment aims to use the latest technologies in the service of sustainability and digital inclusion projects.

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The TECH4ALL environmental project involves partnerships with many experts such as international scientists or local environmental specialists. Huawei’s commitment is demonstrated by two programs already in place: Tech4Nature’s collaboration with IUCN and Nature Guardian’s program with Rainforest Connection (RFCx). These two programs aim to put cutting-edge technologies at the service of nature around the world.

Tech4Nature: a modern vision for nature conservation

L’objectif de ce partenariat sur trois ans avec l’UICN est d’implémenter les dernières technologies numériques dans le domaine de la conservation à travers cinq pays, afin de partager des connaissances, technologies des et des ressources de 300é dans plus zone the scientist.

The IUCN Green List of Protected and Protected Areas It represents the first global standard of good practice for conservation. This is a certification program for the management and governance of protected areas and conservation areas, such as national parks, natural World Heritage sites, or conservation community areas.

The Tech4Nature Partnership Between Huawei and IUCN it is designed for these areas. Technological advances allow us to respond more effectively to current environmental threats, which are becoming increasingly surprising and problematic. This makes it possible to achieve conservation goals faster than ever before.

The different technologies used by Huawei adapt to many scenarios and projects. In Switzerland, the company works with the Swiss National Park, the country’s only natural park, to improve protection and management of protected areas. One technology based on artificial intelligence analyzes infrared images, while another technology based on blockchains studies the park’s carbon sinks.

Digital technology makes it possible to conduct acoustic monitoring and search for one of the world’s most endangered species, the Hainan gibbon (of which only 35 individuals remain) in Hainan Rainforest Park in China. The goal is to develop more effective protection measures.

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Among other projects, underwater cameras have been installed to monitor the reefs located in the north-east of Mauritius in real time, as part of a project to restore 5 hectares of reef.

Nature Guardian: Protecting habitats and species

Although the work is not finished yet, this project to build a sustainable and inclusive world is already well underway. Huawei’s Nature Guardian, in partnership with RFCx, is a prime example of how technology and innovation can contribute to the sustainability of our planet.

This program is mainly based on the Guardian. It’s a black box surrounded by small solar panels with a microphone and antenna. Secretly placed in natural habitats, Guardian devices offer many possibilities thanks to cloud technologies and artificial intelligence. By continuously listening, they can detect and transmit any sound in real time, making it possible to monitor different species as well as their environment.

As part of the partnership between the NGO RFCx, Ireland’s ORCA and Huawei, a “smart” buoy with bioacoustic sensors has been deployed off the Irish coast. Its sensors can detect the calls of dolphins up to 13 square kilometres, and those of whales up to 80 square kilometres. The shouts are then sent to a cloud platform and then analyzed by AI that will produce data on the distribution, behavior and impact of noise pollution. This data will then be used for conservation measures.

In addition to ecosystem, acoustics, and cloud research, AI systems also help identify threats to species and their habitats. In Chile, solar-powered Guardian devices equipped with acoustic sensors are used to cover more than 30 square kilometers of the Cordillera de Nahuelpota. Their role is to detect and identify animal calls, particularly in order to provide data about the endangered Darwinian fox. The Guardian’s AI system, hosted in the cloud, allows it to detect rifle fire from hunters as well as saws from illegal operators endangering species. Alerts are automatically sent to the guards’ phones to enable them to respond immediately in case of danger.

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Come together to conserve nature smart

As we see through the Tech4Nature and Nature Guardians projects, technologies such as communication networks, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and the cloud can be used to improve nature conservation. They allow conservationists to better protect the habitats and species they harbor thanks to highly reactive warning systems in the event of ecosystem failure or illegal human intervention such as poaching or hunting.

No country has a monopoly on nature, and we have to work together beyond our borders to deliver smart technology solutions that keep our planet healthy. We must continue to enrich global data as well as technology and conservation expertise to make informed decisions that protect our most important resource: biodiversity and nature.