TECH4ALLdigital inclusion action plan Huaweisets up technological projects worldwide in the sectors: education, environment, health and development. Tech4Nature, the environmental initiative, is set up as an open association to implement and promote fair and effective solutions in protected areas. Since the program began in 2021, it has aimed to enable more than 300 protected areas around the world to assess their conservation success through the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List Standard for 2023.
The pilot countries of the project are: Spain, Mauritius, China, Switzerland and Mexico. In Dzilam de Bravo, two hours and thirty minutes from Mérida there is a biodiverse reserve, home to exotic animals native to Mexico. This important mangrove area is located on the Yucatan Peninsula, the first region in Latin America to be part of the network of Tech4Nature. It was selected as part of the project a year ago Tech4Nature with the aim of increasing the success of nature conservation through digital technological innovation.
Tech4Nature Mexico It is being promoted by the Polytechnic University of Yucatán, C Minds’ AI for Climate initiative, the NGO Rainforest Connection, the local community of Dzilam, and the Yucatán government agencies. Jaguars and their prey are common in this area, giving life and keeping the ecosystem stable. Being a sector so rich in flora and fauna, we wanted to know how many species live in order to protect the area through monitoring.
This reserve can be reached by boat crossing the sea full of sandbanks. Once on site, the sound of birds of prey such as the fisherman’s wife and “the widow” penetrate the room; these are bio-indicators that the ecosystem is healthy. “The day you come and you don’t hear birds of prey anymore, it means the ecosystem is deteriorating,” he explains. Darwin Sosaworker in the Dzilam de Bravo State Reserve.
Beyond the sky, in the water that surrounds this protected space, live alligators and land-based mammals that have inhabited the area for years. “Our umbrella species is the jaguar, because when we make sure we protect it, we protect everything around it. What we are doing is a huge and groundbreaking step for conservation decision-making and nature-based solutions,” he says. Regina Cerveraproject coordinator at innovation agency C Minds.
The control is given through an extensive and continuous monitoring system consisting of a network of cameras trap installed and camouflaged in the trees of the area; for example, it has been possible to detect the development of open algorithms for the identification of jaguars.
Also with cameras and acoustic monitoring equipment (audio moths) the biodiversity present in the Dzilam de Bravo Reserve has been monitored to identify species in the region. With artificial intelligence platforms in the cloud of Huaweithe collected data is analyzed to classify all umbrella species.
After a year, the first results of the project are already visible, which have been processed in Huawei Cloud’s ModelArts AI platform and in Rainforest Connection’s Arbimon AI platform. The team identified 119 species, including 88 birds, 22 mammals, five reptiles and four amphibians, 34 of which are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Prior to the project, local experts weren’t sure if the reserve housed jaguars, and if so, how many there were.
“With this, Yucatan is setting the standard throughout Latin America for the use and exploitation of these technologies for conservation projects in protected natural areas,” said Mauricio Vila Dosal, constitutional governor of the state of Yucatan.
A TECH4ALL project is also being prepared in Ecuador. The Reserve Jama Coaque which is located in Manabí is a protected area of 2100 hectares of Pacific Equatorial Forest. A union with the Ministry of Telecommunications, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Tourism is in the works to oversee 600 hectares of land for threat detection and biodiversity monitoring.
This reserve preserves the last remnants of the fragmented coastal rainforest. It is home to more threatened and endangered bird species than any other major bird area in Ecuador, itself the country with the greatest bird diversity in the world.
The results that are expected to be achieved are: analyze data collection via Huawei Cloud, protect valuable species and prevent the haphazard felling of trees. Four people have been professionally trained for this project, 28 species are being monitored and more than 70% of reports of illegal activity are expected to be detected.
The growing Tech4Nature will provide advice on the appropriate use of technology in area conservation and will directly engage the ICT industry in supporting conservation and enhancing understanding of the impacts of climate change on priority ecosystems such as marine, forest and mountain ecosystems.
We hope that with the technological efforts more and more fields can enjoy the benefits of technology, and like the vision of our Tech For All initiative, to leave no one behind in the digital world,” added Wakie Wu, Vice President of Huawei Latin America, Director of the Board of Directors of Huawei Mexico.
Community involvement is essential to keep these initiatives afloat. “Encouraging local community participation in decision-making and data management is critical to the success of this project,” said Nadine Seleem, program officer for the Green List of Natural and Protected Areas at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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