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How Machine Learning is Transforming the Nature Based Solutions Industry

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

In recent years, the use of technology in nature conservation has increased exponentially. One of the most promising technologies is Machine Learning, which has the potential to revolutionize the Nature Based Solutions industry. With intelligent algorithms and advanced analytics, Machine Learning can help protect our planet's biodiversity and reduce our environmental impact like never before.

How can Machine Learning be used in the Nature Based Solutions Industry?

The Nature Based Solutions industry focuses on using natural resources and ecosystem services to address environmental challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Machine Learning can help this industry in various ways:

  1. Predictive modeling: Machine Learning algorithms can predict how ecosystems will change over time, allowing conservationists to plan and implement interventions more effectively.

  2. Species identification and Wildlife monitoring: Machine Learning can be used to identify species from photos (e.g. from trap cameras) or audio recordings, which can help monitor and protect endangered species.

  3. Habitat mapping: Machine Learning can analyze satellite imagery to create detailed maps of habitats and track changes over time, providing valuable information for conservation planning.

  4. Climate modeling: Machine Learning can help predict how climate change will affect ecosystems and species, enabling conservationists to develop adaptation strategies.

Case Study: The Rainforest Connection

The Rainforest Connection is a nonprofit organization that uses Machine Learning and other technologies to protect rainforests from illegal logging and poaching. They use old smartphones to create a network of real-time acoustic monitoring devices that can detect the sounds of chainsaws and other illegal activities. Machine Learning algorithms analyze the sounds and alert rangers in real-time, allowing them to respond quickly and prevent illegal activities.

Case Study: Global Forest Watch

Source: Global Forest Watch

Global Forest Watch (GFW) and Orbital Insight are collaborating to develop a deep learning model to monitor commodity-driven deforestation. The project aims to identify where oil palm is being planted and grown across large areas of the tropics. The use of deep learning enables the first prototype of its kind to map oil palm trees across four continents using satellite imagery. The model can differentiate plantations based on their color, size, shape, and pattern. The data will be integrated into GFW Pro, allowing companies to assess deforestation risk in their supply chains. The project has the potential to help commodity buyers, traders, and suppliers to uphold their zero deforestation commitments.

Case study: Wildlife Insights

Wildlife Insights is a platform that uses artificial intelligence and camera traps to monitor wildlife populations around the world. The platform is designed to help conservationists, scientists, and wildlife managers better understand animal behavior and population trends, so they can make more informed decisions about how to protect endangered species and their habitats. Wildlife Insights uses a combination of image recognition algorithms and machine learning models to automatically identify and classify species in camera trap images, which allows researchers to quickly and accurately collect data on a wide range of species. The platform also includes a suite of tools for data management, analysis, and visualization, making it easier for researchers to share and collaborate on their findings. Wildlife Insights is a collaborative effort between a number of conservation organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and is supported by the Google Earth Outreach team.

In summary, the potential of Machine Learning in the Nature Based Solutions industry is immense. By providing accurate predictions and insights, Machine Learning can help conservationists make more informed decisions and protect our planet's biodiversity. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of Machine Learning in nature conservation.


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