Today, Friday (5/6/2020) is World Environment Day (WED). This annual moment encourages all people to raise awareness in protecting nature and planet Earth.
This year the focus is on protecting the world’s biodiversity or biodiversity . Biodiversity becomes a part of human life which is manifested from food to medicine.
According to the World Environment Day website , 87 of 115 global food crops depend on insect or animal pollination.
Biodiversity also helps prevent the effects of climate change as forests convert carbon dioxide into oxygen to the air we breathe while continuing to cool the Earth.
However, the world is now hit by a crisis of biodiversity. Last year, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) found that one million species are threatened with extinction.
Technology was created to stem this threat. According to Google, here are 5 technologies that can protect biodiversity to celebrate World Environment Day.
1. Protecting marine species with cloud computing
The oceans cover 72% of the Earth’s surface, and the diversity of their species is very unique. In addition, many people depend on the sea for their livelihoods, especially in the Asia-Pacific.
In 2016, together with Oceana and SkyTruth, Google launched Global Fishing Watch, a platform to raise awareness of the fishing industry and promote environmentally friendly policies through transparency.
Global Fishing Watch combines cloud computing technology with satellite data, and for the first time in the world, provides a global view of commercial fishing activity.
This initiative provides everyone in the world – be it individuals, governments, industry and researchers – an online platform to visualize, track and share information about fishing activities globally.
2. Protecting tropical rainforests with machine learning
Deforestation causes 17% of global carbon emissions and Rainforest Connection uses TensorFlow, Google’s open-source machine learning platform, to prevent illegal logging in tropical rainforests around the world.
They place old cell phones in the trees to record sounds in the forest and then train their machine learning systems to recognize the sounds of chainsaws from various sounds in the forest.
This helps forest rangers get instant notifications when illegal loggers try to cut trees illegally.
3. Monitor wild habitats with mapping technology
Natural habitats are very important for the protection and survival of various species of flora and fauna around the world. Deforestation causes 17% of global carbon emissions.
That’s why we need to closely monitor and ultimately reduce the risk of deforestation to ensure habitats are preserved.
So in 2013, through a collaboration led by researchers at the University of Maryland, we helped launch Global Forest Watch, a map that quantifies forest area globally and changes, starting with data from 2000.
This chronological mapping of global forests does not only allow for a variety of scientific applications, such as climate change and biodiversity modeling efforts.
However, it also forms the basis for policy formation by providing objective data on forests that can be directly used by the government, civil society organizations and private industry to improve forest management.
4. Reduce carbon emissions with the Environmental Insights Explorer
Global warming is already having a major impact on the natural habitats of many species, and reducing carbon emissions is one way of dealing with it.
Environmental Insights Explorer is an online tool created in collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) and has so far been deployed in more than 120 cities around the world.
This tool is designed to make it easier for city government officials to access and act on new data sets related to climate.
5. Visualize the impact of climate change with actual data
Starting from maps that depict actual data and predictions of sea level rise, to interactive data visualizations that invite you to dive in the sea and see the impact of rising temperatures.
‘Heartbeat of the Earth’ is an initiative jointly undertaken with the UNFCCC to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change.