💚 Drones & AI, But for Reforestation 🤖

💚 Drones & AI, But for Reforestation 🤖

By
Dennis Kamprad

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Stay impactful,

Happy Thursday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Drones and AI that innovate urban reforestation 🤖
  • Clean electricity is driving down US emissions ⚡📉 
  • Amazon rainforest deforestation rate halved in 2023 🌳 
  • And more… 💚

What comes to your mind when you think about either drones or AI?

Both have made the headlines with many different use cases… But how many of these have helped us to truly make a positive impact?

I’ve followed updates quite closely (not just because AI directly impacts the digital publishing landscape and our journalism)…

…and I am happy to share with you how both drones and AI can be combined to tackle climate change and advance reforestation!

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🤖 Rio de Janeiro’s Advanced Reforestation Efforts Using Drones and AI

1️⃣ The big picture: Rio de Janeiro is embarking on an ambitious reforestation project using state-of-the-art seed-dispersing drones, in partnership with the Franco-Brazilian startup Morfo. The seeding drones are a bet to speed up reforestation in areas difficult to access, where agents carrying out traditional reforestation find it more challenging to reach. “With the use of drone technology, we will be able to expand the city’s green areas and thus alleviate the strong heatwaves, besides making Rio de Janeiro even more beautiful,” stated Mayor Eduardo Paes.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: The use of drone technology in reforestation represents a significant advancement in urban environmental efforts. These drones can plant a diverse range of native species at a speed 100 times faster than traditional methods, while increasing biodiversity and reducing costs. Thanks to the seed-planting method, at least 20 native species can be seeded, without the need for setting up a nursery and its maintenance for several months. The project also includes comprehensive monitoring of reforested areas using satellite and drone imagery, providing valuable data on vegetation cover, biodiversity, and carbon stock. This innovative approach not only accelerates reforestation efforts but also integrates artificial intelligence for effective monitoring and management of the green areas.

3️⃣ What’s next: The success of this drone-powered reforestation project could set a precedent for other urban reforestation initiatives worldwide. The comprehensive model, from soil diagnosis to long-term monitoring, offers a blueprint for sustainable urban development and climate-conscious action. As Rio de Janeiro continues to expand its reforestation efforts, the potential for replicating this model in other cities could significantly contribute to global efforts to combat climate change and enhance urban biodiversity. The integration of advanced technology in environmental conservation marks a new era in addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change.

Related: Join the race to help advancing reforestation and also protecting the Amazon Rainforest:

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📢 More Good News…

⚡📉 Clean electricity is driving down US emissions:

  • The US electrical grid’s increasing usage of renewable energy led to an 8% drop in power-sector emissions in 2023, despite overall economic growth. 
  • This recent surge of solar power projects helped play a crucial role in this emissions drop. Renewable energy accelerated the decline of coal-fired electricity generation, reaching a record low in 2023.
  • Resident and commercial buildings also saw a 4% drop in emissions as Americans used less gas, fuel oil, and propane for heating, thanks to the milder winter. Additionally, more US households are shifting towards all-electric heat pumps over gas-burning furnaces.

🌃 Wales gets its first ‘dark sky’ community to reduce light pollution

  • Presteigne and Norton in Powys, Wales, with a total population of 2,700, have been recognized as the first “dark sky community” in Wales. 
  • Over the last 6 years, the community has actively worked to achieve this by refitting around 380 lighting columns with 2200K LED lights. After midnight, 60% of these lights are programmed to lower their intensity, while the remaining lights turn off completely.
  • This project has reduced the yearly carbon emissions of the area by nearly 5 tons. Not only is it easier for the community to enjoy the night sky now, this shift also has a positive impact on the local wildlife, especially night-flying insects, birds, and bats. Authorities are now considering similar plans across Wales.

🌳 Amazon rainforest: Deforestation rate halved in 2023

  • In 2023, Brazil’s Amazon witnessed a nearly 50% reduction in the rate of deforestation compared to the previous year, marking the lowest recorded rate in the past five years. 
  • The Brazilian government, highlighting this progress as the first step toward zero deforestation, has reaffirmed its commitment to combating illegal practices in the Amazon. 
  • This reduced rate is also thanks to the inspection efforts of environment watchdog Ibama, a critical component in the global fight against climate change and any dangers to the Amazon. The Amazon, home to millions of species and indigenous people, remains a crucial focus in environmental conservation.
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🤝 Event of the Month: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

👉 Did you know that this month is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month? This event was founded in 2010 to raise awareness of human trafficking and inspire change. 

1️⃣ The big picture: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month was set up by President Obama to educate the public about human trafficking and how to identify and prevent this crime. This decree followed the implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000. Since then, the US government has raised awareness of human trafficking and slavery, both nationally and worldwide, annually in January through US embassies and consulates. Today, the event is marked by celebrating the achievements made by governments, international organizations, businesses, and citizens around the world who raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. 

2️⃣ Why is this important: Slavery seems like a problem left in history. However, the reality is that an estimated 50 million people were living in situations of modern slavery around the globe in 2021. According to the latest Global Slavery Index, the 10 countries with the highest rates of slavery today include Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Russia. This issue is often underrepresented in the media, meaning that many people still don’t understand the extent of the problem. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: You can get involved in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by learning the ways you can help fight the human trafficking epidemic and by familiarizing yourself with the human trafficking hotlines. In addition, you can raise awareness about human trafficking and slavery in your own community by setting up a fundraising event or through social media platforms.

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to end human trafficking and support victims of slavery:

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📜 This Week in History

👨🏿‍💼 January 18, 1986: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was first celebrated as a national holiday. This day serves as a tribute to King’s efforts in advancing civil rights, fighting racial injustice, and promoting equality for all in an attempt to create a more inclusive and equitable society.

👩🏻 January 19, 2000: Austrian-born actress and noted inventor of a radio communications device, Hedy Lamarr, died in Florida. Thanks to her contributions, her device later became a component of present-day satellite and cellular phone technology.

👨🏾 January 20, 2009: Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American to hold the office. Later that year on October 9, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

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💭 Quote of the Week

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

― Barack Obama; 44th President of the United States, first African-American man to hold the office, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, and author of the memoir A Promised Land and The Audacity of Hope, a bestseller book

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society!

Stay impactful 💚

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