Innovation That Matters

Rainforest monitoring system | Photo source Pixabay

Monitoring system protects Brazilian rainforests


Sensor devices help prevent illegal deforestation by monitoring the acoustics of the rainforests.

With the world’s rainforests in danger, it is unsurprising that innovation has stepped in to try and stall the damage. We have seen numerous campaigns and solutions to the deforestation of these precious areas, for example the creation of a Tinder profile for a monkey, with an aim to raise awareness about biodiversity and conservation efforts. There was also an initiative which provided healthcare discounts to local people who made efforts to preserve the rainforest, thus discouraging lodging and giving people reason to act in an environmentally-friendly way. Rainforest Connection also wants to save our rainforests and recognizes their importance to biodiversity and air quality. They use advanced technology to monitor the rainforest and hence seek to put an end to illegal deforestation.

Rainforest Connection have developed bio-acoustic monitoring which uploads rainforest sounds to a platform which can be accessed and shared worldwide. This real-time data helps inform land management, policy changes and resource distribution. By monitoring the sounds of the rainforest, the organization is also able to pick up on sounds related to poaching. For example, the use of cars, trucks and motorcycles in protected areas. By identifying poachers, Rainforest Connection can inform authorities and help them to pin point the crimes and target the specific areas affected.

Arguably the most important element of the rainforest – the trees – can also be prevented with this unique monitoring system. The monitoring system means that environmental workers can respond to real-time alerts if there are suspicions of illegal logging activity. The way that the system works is through using a combination of solar power and machine learning technology to create sensory devices called Guardians. Guardians are made from modified used cell-phones. They are placed high in the canopies, from which they can capture the sounds of the rainforest. A network of these sensors gives an overall picture of activity going on in the rainforest.

The Rainforest Connection application is available for download for free on the App Store and Google Play. How else could innovative ideas help protect the rainforest? Is technology the key to saving our planet and teaching us to live sustainably?



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