Ears: Multimedia Databases of World Rainforests

According to the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN), every second, over one hectare of tropical forests is destructed or dramatically degraded, endangering the existence of several species. Illegal mining leads much to deforestation, which adds in response to climate change. With rain forests in the world already dwindling to 2100, it is imperative to find solutions to avoid illegal deforestation and track forests.

U.S. technologist Topher White has developed the following solution: to build a ‘ears’ forest network with cell telephones that will track criminal activities and live animal noises in remote areas, like Amazon, Central America, and Asia.

Rainforest Connection (RFCx) White’s NGO has created hardware and software to defend rain forests from illegal deforestation and wrestling in nine states, five continents, and almost 3,000 km2 worldwide. The RFCx technology allows for rainforest security in 9 countries and five continents.

The network automatically notifies any identified illegal acts and their location and form of proposed cell phones. “We work with local communities, NGOs, political organizations, and neighborhood associations, and we will give warnings so that they can potentially show criminal activity on the ground and avoid it in real-time,” said White.

The mobile, which have solar chargers, are placed along roads and tracks in fragile areas of the forest to form a network of listening devices “Tree Guardian.” Audio streams are loaded into the cloud in real-time to evaluate the audio and relay tracking of suspicious behavior, such as the usage of chainsaws and cars, from artificial intelligent models to field-guardians.

The same technology is often used to track the sounds of unusual or significant bird and animal species, offering scientists a means of researching the health and protection of wildlife in a given region. The sounds are streamed live, creating a broad digital library that provides scientists with basic acoustic knowledge. “The creatures who also don’t sound can be detected. Jaguars may not often be vocalizing, but they are always over birds and other species, “he notes.

“One of the great aspects is that we use outdated tools, aspects that no one is enthusiastic about, to make research and development in the world genuinely cutting edge,” says White. “We are bringing an old mobile phone – all throw away from us – and we will place it in the rainforest woods. It will respond to the tone, and we may pick up noise from chainsaws, logging lorries, road building, and even threatened species of birds or animals through artificial intelligence.

Deforestation is rough globally and is one of the main contributors to climate change by releasing soil fuel, says White. The primary barrier for its regulation was the inability to provide timely alerts to residents or law enforcement officials in very remote areas of woodland.

In Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Romania, South Africa, Belize, Peru, and the Philippines, White has thoroughly evaluated its Forest Assurance technologies. “Working with local communities, who manage certain regions, is a very crucial part of our work since they have the greatest effect on combating climate change,” he says.

“With more than 60 new ventures in the pipeline, rainforest communication technology has overtaken its concept-proof process. It anticipates that RFCx would affect the vulnerable habitats for 6,000 kilometers square and deliver audio in the coming 24 months for 450 years. Conservation and science effects are projected to multiply. The land volume is equal to taking 6 million cars out of the route, preserving 400 million trees, and sequestering 30 million tonnes.

The goal of Rainforest Connection is to shift from the battle against illegal deforestation and wildlife to allow effective conservation of both forest and marine habitats. The RFCx framework leverages shared data to allow more advanced analytics and machine learning, which links analysis from ecosystem monitoring to conservation. RFCx is meant to assess the effectiveness of environmental initiatives utilizing conservation groups, organizations, and contributors.

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