There is a window of opportunity for preventing further biodiversity loss and halting deforestation in the EU and beyond, and artificial intelligence can help us seize it. This was the key message delivered by Huawei during the online discussion organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles today.
“A key driver of deforestation, particularly here in Europe, is farming. Globally, 80 % of deforestation is a result of the industrialisation and centralisation of farming, and of overproduction in the agriculture sector. Here, AI – and Huawei – can play a role in changing the landscape – literally,” said Angeliki Dedopoulou, EU Public Affairs Senior Manager at Huawei.
She outlined some of the company’s flagship initiatives in this field. Huawei Rural Star – a low-cost, easy-to-erect rural connectivity base station – enables farmers to use the potential of 5G and AI systems for crop management and distribution, reducing overproduction and waste.
Huawei also works with the Rainforest Connection to save threatened species, using advanced AI services to accurately identify and analyse noise patterns related to illegal logging and the habitat of spider monkeys.
“None of this is possible without connection. But also, none of it is possible without access to the technology and the skills required to use it to its full potential,” Ms Dedopoulou stressed, calling on policy makers to target investments at the local level and involve local communities in such initiatives.
The EU is placing a key focus on forests in its Green Deal. The European Commission has pledged to prepare a new Forest Strategy to fight deforestation inside and outside of Europe.
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In Europe, Huawei currently employs over 13,300 staff and runs two regional offices and 23 R&D sites. So far, Huawei has established 230 technical cooperation projects and has partnered with over 150 universities across Europe.