Despite the statistics about the value of our natural resources, we are mostly going blind when it comes to resource’s current state and how to protect them. To combat the current climate change more effectively also feeding the overgrowing population, and protecting marine resources, we need to close that information gap and do so as soon as possible.
As fertile and productive land continues to decay, extreme weather wreaks havoc on growing seasons, and climate change also lowers the nutritional value from what is harvested we pay little attention towards those. Forests provide the needs of 1.6 billion people as an essential resource, yet reports suggest we are destroying 18.7 million acres annually.
This presents an incredible opportunity that we are in need of a more transparent image of the current state of the planet’s natural resources and also learning how they are changing and also affecting the intervention strategies. Increasingly, this information break will be filled by AI-enabled smarter solutions.
This is why 20tree.ai, a Portugal-based startup, and member of the NVIDIA Inception program, is collaborating AI and satellite imagery for better monitoring. Their work enables for the tracking of entire forests in a fraction of the time currently required. Earlier, manual surveying and data collection of forested areas used to take months, with considerable strain placed on budgets as well as on workforce.
Now, 20tree.ai uses a combination of AI and extremely high-quality satellite imagery and radar data to speed its work. The deep neural networks can draw insights into forest health that are otherwise invisible to the human eye.
The benefits are to survey different tree species, wood volume, tree height, and also their diameter. The company can then determine what they are purchasing and whether they are paying the right amount for the land or not. It can also analyze global population and gain insights into green spaces, like tree canopy cover, urban forest diversity, and air quality. Better monitoring and management of urban forests can help mitigate heat waves, air pollution, and flooding.
The speed of technology innovation is one of the few things keeping its pace with climate change. Managing these resources more effectively will not only improve the well-being of everyone on the planet but also has the potential to improve the planet itself. Perhaps for the first time, we can have the right information at our fingertips to more effectively and sustainably manage our lands, watersheds, and ecosystems.
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