Climate changes and the increasing human requirements are threatening the life of wetlands, forests, oceans, rivers, marine species, terrestrial wildlife, etc. If these threats are not properly managed, we won’t be able to enjoy the benefits natural resources offer. The survival of the human species highly depends on the services of the ecosystem.
Digital technologies are emerging as a help to the communities, governments, and businesses in natural resource management. If digital solutions are developed and executed in a scalable and customizable manner, the efficiency and quality of data collection will be improved. It will empower both global and local communities to get involved in conservation programs and help in real-time decisions.
Latest digital tools like satellites, mobile devices, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, etc are still at their development stage. However, the last decade has shown how these modern technologies can help in gradual and transformational changes to help fight the threats to natural resources. Here are some technological ways that can help to protect and conserve natural resources.
- Real-time data collection
One of the efficient ways to minimize poaching is by using networked devices, sensors, machine learning, etc. Instead of tracking wildlife, digital solutions target monitoring people’s movements so that any illegal entering can be detected and stopped through the alerts the rangers get on their mobile devices. Many national parks in Africa have implemented this method to protect wildlife from poaching.
- Encouraging sustainable fishing
Many initiatives are trying to make fishing sustainable, supporting the fishing communities and fishermen’s livelihood. Some mobile apps are being developed that make use of real-time data to offer information about tide, weather, speed and direction of the wind, location of marine lives and fishes, etc. To improve the sustainability of fishing, the app collects and evaluates data, detects illegal fishing, and tracks seafood in the supply chains. Some apps also include educational information such as pollution threats, coral reefs, marine biota conservation, etc.
- Mobile big data to defend against air pollution
Some natural resource conservation programs are using mobile network data to fight the negative health issues caused by air pollution. Machine learning algorithms join hands with unnamed mobile data and data from weather, pollution, and traffic sensors. Thus, the pollution levels of the entire city can be predicted and monitored. There will be active and passive events in the data included in the algorithms. Pollution level predictions can be made before 24-28 hours so that the local authorities can take necessary steps to save human health. This is a cost-effective approach to traditional methods used in data collection.
- Livestreaming to save rainforests
Certain projects use modern mobile devices for live streaming rainforest sounds and for uploading them to the cloud services. There, AI technology traverses through these dissonance noises to find and report any sounds of dangerous or illegal poaching or logging. These projects have shown a positive impact on the forest cover of the Philippines. This model is now used in several other countries too. The project is expected to save many rainforests in the coming years.