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Huawei hosts “Tech for Panda Habitats” Forum

Protecting Biodiversity at China’s Giant Panda National Park with Technology
Oct 18, 2021

[Dujiangyan, China, October 18, 2021] The establishment of China’s Giant Panda National Park announced during the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) marks the start of a new phase for the conservation and the protection of nature’s fragile ecosystem. With the support of Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, Huawei hosted a “Tech for Panda Habitats” forum at the panda valley in Dujiangyan, with leading conservation experts discussing how technology can enable conservation of wildlife. Speakers included Prof. Wei Fuwen, Academic of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof. Ran Jianghong, consulting expert for Giant Panda National Park. As one of the key speakers, Dr. Hou Rong, Deputy Director of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding addressed guests online.

Speaking at the Forum, Mr. Yue Kun, President of Huawei's Global Government Business Department, explained, “Humanity should coexist in harmony with nature. At Huawei, we believe that technology can play a critical role in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the acceleration of our response to climate change response and biodiversity conservation.”

Sichuan is home to more species that are unique to China than any other province. The province also owns one of the important rare species genome databases providing an important resource for China and the world. The Digital Panda System (DPS) developed by Sichuan Forest and Grassland Administration, Huawei and several partners based on HUAWEI CLOUD this year offers much-improved accuracy of forest fire warning and monitoring. The system covers real-time monitoring, intelligence and verification across the entire Sichuan forests, including the forest ecosystem that is a part of the Giant Panda National Park, protecting the habitats of giant pandas and many other wild animals through wildfire prevention. . The system assists 140,000 forest rangers, forest and grassland managers, as well as wildlife conservation and research experts.

Mr. Yue Kun

Mr. Yue Kun, President of Huawei's Global Government Business Department, delivers a welcome remark

Mr. Yue Kun added, "Huawei will continue to work with the industry to apply digital technologies like 5G, cloud and AI in biodiversity conservation. Since the launch, the system has provided forest rangers and scientists with an additional ‘eyes and ears’ to reduce the number of visits to harsh environments and making forest protection more effective. In addition, by optimizing the fire reporting mechanism, risks can be simultaneously reported across multiple organizational levels therefore saving valuable time and improving efficiency.”

Biodiversity is indispensable to the survival and prosperity of humanity. The Kunming Declaration adopted at COP15 last week established targets and a path for global biodiversity protection as an important step in realizing the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature. During COP15, China announced the official establishment of its first group of national parks which includes the Giant Panda National Park, the Sanjiangyuan (the Three-River-Source) National Park, the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, the Hainan Tropical Forests National Park, and the Wuyishan National Park.

Prof. Wei Fuwen

Prof. Wei Fuwen, a renowned conservation biologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Prof. Wei Fuwen, a renowned conservation biologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences who participated in the recent COP15 discussions in Kunming, said, "China’s biodiversity research and conservation is on a par with international standards – and is even leading in some areas. Driven by its national ecology strategy, China has achieved astonishing results in biodiversity protection, recovery and research. China's genome technology, including transcriptomics and proteomics, and its use of space-ground integrated technologies are among some of the top in the world. The rapid progress and heavy investment in biodiversity research, and the active involvement of tech companies such as Huawei, as well as NGOs and the general public, in monitoring and management has all played a contributing role."

Mr. Wang Hongjia, Chief Planner of the Sichuan Administration of Giant Panda National Park, said, "Since the pilot of Giant Panda National Park began, Sichuan province has invested nearly CNY 400 million, extending protection from the giant panda, an umbrella species, to another 8000-plus co-existing animals and plants. We hope to continue collaborating with various parties, and applying innovations in technology, so that giant pandas can roam freely in the National Park and live on for generations to come."

Dr. Hou Rong, Deputy Director of Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, said, "During the past 21 years, the population of giant pandas in captivity has grown from 135 to 673 thanks to advancements in nutrition, feeding, breeding, and genetic management". New technologies such as AI and the cloud provide new opportunities for the conservation of wild animals including the giant panda, and will continue to play a positive role."

Mr. Ni Jiubin, Director of Southwest Center of the Nature Conservancy, shared an NGO's perspective, "As a result of economic development, ecological protection in China has progressed to be among the top in the world. The Giant Panda National Park symbolizes a breakthrough in the conflict of managing humanity and pandas. As conservation efforts strengthen, and as more technologies are applied, forest rangers from local communities will play an even more critical role in linking protected areas with the community. One day, we will see true harmony between humanity and nature in these wildlife habitats."

Dr. Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, researcher at the Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences, shared the Center's research on wild animal movements and the role of digital technologies in his work. “We are seeing changing behaviors in wildlife, such as the recent movements of elephants from Xishuangbanna to Kunming. In order to protect them and live in harmony alongside them, it is essential to understand the factors driving these changes using scientific methods. Crucially, digital monitoring can provide insights that can support future planning and protection of habitats.”

Prof. Ran Jianghong, consulting expert for Giant Panda National Park, Professor and Deputy Dean of School of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, and President of Natural Museum of Sichuan University, said, "The population of wild giant pandas has reached 1800, reducing the threat level of the species from endangered to vulnerable. Hi-tech including communication technologies have enhanced the research and protection of giant pandas, enabling us to better understand its population and changes."


Representatives of rangers from the Giant Panda National Park Attended the form

In the future, digital technologies will be a crucial part of the monitoring system at the Giant Panda National Park, contributing to the conservation of rare wild animals such as giant pandas, greater kudu (a woodland antelope), and snub-nosed monkeys, as well as biodiversity at large. Huawei, with its expertise in digital enablement, will continue to innovate in technology, collaborate with industry partners, fulfill its social responsibilities and help build a better and greener planet.