The Jakarta Post
This picture taken on May 9, 2017 shows a team of Indonesian forest rangers making their way through the Leuser ecosystem rainforest, located mostly within the province of Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. (AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)
Nonprofit technology startup Rainforest Connection has utilized artificial intelligence to help monitor West Sumatra's rainforests.
The tool, named The Guardian, uses Google technology called TensorFlow that can record sounds in the forest and send them to the forest rangers’ smartphones through the Rainforest Connection mobile application.
Rainforest Connection founder and CEO Topher White explained that the tool was quite simple. “Basically, The Guardian is a box containing a battery, used cellphone, voice recorder and solar panel. To operate this equipment, we put it on top of the trees, which allows them to record voices using its microphone and send it directly to the cloud using TensorFlow,” Topher said in a statement.
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Collaborating with environmental group Warsi Indonesian Conservation Community (KKI Warsi), the Rainforest Connection has installed 12 monitoring tools in four villages in West Sumatra, namely Sirukam, Pakan Rabaa Timur, Pakan Rabaa and Pasir Palang Timur. Three monitoring tools were installed in three different spots in each village.
KKI Warsi program manager Rainal Daus said The Guardian helped his organization greatly in strengthening the forest security system.
“Using this tool, our forest rangers will be able to monitor the forest's condition real-time. This will make it easier for them to take immediate action if there is illegal logging activity taking place at the forest,” Rainal said. (kes)