AI for Global Goals - Rainforest Connection | C2C Community

AI for Global Goals - Rainforest Connection

  • 21 September 2022
  • 3 replies

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In 2015, the UN set the Sustainable Development Goals, ambitious targets for a better and more sustainable future by 2030. AI can reduce the time and resources needed to progress against some of the world's toughest challenges. is committing $25M to fund solutions accelerating progress towards the Global Goals. In this post, I will introduce Rainforest Connection, one of the grantees that uses AI to accomplish its mission.

Rainforests naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making them a vital component in fighting climate change — but they are under profound threat from illegal logging - which accounts for more than half of logging in rainforests. Rainforest Connection develops acoustic monitoring technology that uses AI to protect vulnerable ecosystems by detecting threats like illegal logging in real time. The solar-powered acoustic devices used for threat detection, called RFCx Guardians, transmit audio to the cloud. Then, AI analyzes and classifies the data collected to detect signals like chainsaws, vehicles, and gunshots that could alert ground partners of potential threats.




At the same time, the devices monitor the biodiversity of a given area to inform conservation action better, tracking the presence of hundreds of species.

RFCx has monitored more than 144,000 hectares of rainforest, in more than 35 protected reserves, across 32 countries. Having collected 76 million minutes of audio data, they've identified over 2,700 species worldwide. With all this information, they are helping partners protect rainforests from threats and monitor biodiversity to inform conservation action.

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That’s a great post @MarkusK.

It has to be a combination of IoT and AI. Can you learn more about this topic? Like what technologies are they using and connecting them?

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Thanks @ilias 

Part of this system is the Guardian device, a solar-powered acoustic streaming device that is placed high in tree-top canopies.

When connected via GSM, the Guardian device uploads a continuous recording of the surrounding environment’s soundscape, transmitting the audio in real-time to the cloud for instant analysis. When the Guardian is connected via Satellite, on-board analysis of audio is performed and alerts are transmitted in real-time.

The data-powered Guardian Platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to deliver rapid insight into what’s happening in vast forest ecosystems, identify potentially harmful behavior, and help on-the-ground rangers pinpoint and stop damaging activities as they occur.

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This is amazing, @MarkusK ! Imagine the positive impact this has against animal poaching and illegal deforestation with 483 guardians deployed!


@ilias did you notice that one of the 22 projects is in our homeland, Greece? Aoos Gorge! :)

@Fintan Murphy County Cork also included!


It’s also amazing how they raise awareness engage the wider audience by offering some “goodies”. For instance, they have an app in order for us to be able to listen to a rainforest live! This is brilliant!