Could AI Save the Amazon Rainforest? A Gamechanger in the War on Logging
The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering an area of more than 5.5 million square kilometers across nine countries, including Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. Unfortunately, deforestation activities continue to threaten the Amazon’s biodiversity, ecological systems, and the livelihoods of millions of people who call the region home. The Brazilian Amazon, in particular, has been suffering from the effects of deforestation for years, with logging activities leading to the destruction of vast areas of forests. However, a new tool developed by an environmental non-profit Imazon, called PrevisIA, could help predict and prevent deforestation activities.
PrevisIA is an artificial intelligence platform that uses satellite imagery and historical data to predict where deforestation is likely to occur next. The platform combines several technologies, including remote sensing, machine learning, and cloud computing to analyze data and provide real-time alerts about potential areas of deforestation.
One of PrevisIA’s success stories involves the Triunfo do Xingu conservation area in the southeastern corner of the Brazilian Amazon. In March 2021 alone, an area of forest equivalent to 700 football pitches fell in this Environmental Protection Area, making it one of the largest conservation areas in the world. According to PrevisIA’s forecast, this conservation area is at the highest risk of future destruction. With the Peruvian government’s prompt actions using PrevisIA, they were able to catch and stop loggers who were planning to deforest an area of the Amazon rainforest equivalent to 19,696 soccer fields.
PrevisIA’s real-time alerts and predictive capabilities provide conservationists with information to take preventative measures. The system, which identifies changes from deforestation activities taking place within the rainforest, has proved invaluable to environmental non-profits and government agencies in protecting the Amazon. By tracking and monitoring where deforestation has taken place in the past, the system’s artificial intelligence technology can learn to predict where the next areas of deforestation may occur and, therefore, effectively protect the area in time.
PrevisIA, as an open-source program, is accessible to different groups, including researchers, policymakers, and businesses, to monitor land use in the Amazon region. The platform provides a transparent and cost-effective approach to combating deforestation, which can be scaled up to address other areas of rainforest around the world.
There is no denying that deforestation continues to be a significant problem in the Amazon rainforest – one of the most important ecosystems on earth. Traditional monitoring methods are costlier, time-consuming, and disruptive to local communities who depend on the forests for their livelihoods. However, PrevisIA’s predictive capabilities now offer the chance to stop deforestation before it occurs while also keeping the surrounding communities safe. PrevisIA’s success in the Triunfo do Xingu conservation area is just one example of the tool’s power to predict and prevent deforestation. Thus, PrevisIA provides hope for conservationists, policymakers, and local communities that effective forest protection is within reach.