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Rainforest Connection and Huawei's “Nature Guardian”Project Wins GSMA GLOMO for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs

Jun 30, 2021

[Barcelona, Spain, June 30, 2021] Rainforest Connection (RFCx) and Huawei's “Nature Guardian” project deploys cutting-edge technology solutions to protect nature, prevent deforestation, and safeguard against biodiversity loss. For its contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the project received the GSMA 2021 GLOMO for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs.

Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs

“Nature Guardian”Project Wins GSMA GLOMO for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs

 “Nature Guardian”Project Wins GSMA GLOMO for Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs

A global drive to address the impact of climate change is happening. To help restore ecosystems and promote their sustainable use, cutting-edge scientific and technological solutions applications are required. And key to this is the ICT industry: This GSMA GLOMO recognizes that our industry can protect the planet while promoting economic prosperity.

The Nature Guardian solution comprises solar-powered devices equipped with microphones and antennas that collect sound data and transmit that data through wireless networks to cloud, where it is analyzed by AI-powered analytics. Each Guardian device is placed in the forest's canopy and can operate 24 hours a day for two years, collecting ambient sound data over an area of three square kilometers.

If the sound of a threat occurs, such as a chainsaw, truck, or gunshot, an alarm is generated, with the location of the incident pushed to an app so that local rangers can react in near real time. Guardians can also facilitate research by yielding data about the behaviors and distribution of wildlife.

The sounds in rainforests can cover a wider range than vision and consume less network bandwidth, enabling real-time data acquisition within vast protected areas. With connectivity provided by wireless networks, the combination of AI and low-cost devices can provide precise and cost-effective solutions for safeguarding biodiversity.

Having been deployed for several years, the Guardian system has demonstrated great value and has gradually expanded in how it is deployed. From rainforests to mountains to oceans, the Guardian system can both recognize the sound of poaching and illegal logging and monitor natural ecosystems. In Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, Guardians are analyzing spider monkeys, helping zoologists better understand the habitats of this keystone but endangered species. In Palawan in the Philippines and Sarawak in Malaysia, Guardians are protecting local tropical rainforests in real time. In Greece, Guardians are identifying the sound of gun shots from poachers in North Pindus National Park that threaten the indigenous Balkan chamois – a type of antelope. In Chile, Guardians are collecting biodiversity data from the Naverbuta National Park to protect Darwin foxes. Off the south coast of Ireland, the solution is identifying the sounds of whales, dolphins, and porpoises to study their distribution and potentially mitigate the risk of ship strikes in the area’s busy shipping lanes. In these scenarios, local wireless carriers provide active assistance.

By the end of 2020, Guardians had been deployed in 18 countries. The amount of forest that can be saved will offset carbon dioxide emissions by a predicted 30 million tons, which is the equivalent of taking 6 million cars off the roads or adding 400 million trees.

"I am honored to win this award with Huawei's TECH4ALL project,”said RFCx CEO and Founder Topher White. "I believe that through our collaboration, bioacoustics can play a greater role in protecting the planet's most precious natural resources and ecosystems."

The collaboration is part of Huawei's digital Inclusion Initiative TECH4ALL – a long-term action plan designed to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital world. Focusing on technology, applications, and skills, Huawei works with customers and partners to promote digital inclusion and sustainable development in four areas: environment, education, health, and development.

The Global Mobility Awards (GLOMO) is the highest honor awarded by the mobile industry. Established in 1996 by GSMA, the GLOMOs cover categories such as mobile technology, connectivity, industry applications, and “Tech4Good” scenarios. The award is the most authoritative industry award - the Oscars of the mobile industry - and is overseen by more than 250 global analysts, media, and experts.