Albertine Watch receives Artificial Intelligent (AI) for Earth Grant from Microsoft

Buliisa– Uganda 5/6/2020 – Albertine Watch has been awarded an AI for Earth grant from Microsoft to help further our efforts in protecting wildlife and their habitats as well as to promote community livelihoods in the Albertine region.

This new grant will provide Albertine Watch with the resources to create the first scalable, real-time monitoring system and technologies to accelerate our work on Wildlife protection and land protection.

The overall goal of the project is to create the first scalable, real-time monitoring system for protecting and studying Parks and protected areas as well as community lands. This will help reduce the loss of biodiversity and protect threatened habitats for wildlife and human habitation. The project will deploy mobile open source Technology that will be able to strategically monitor selected parks and protected areas as well as community reserves and halt illegal wildlife poaching, deforestation, logging and wildlife trafficking by creating acoustic tracking system that allows Environmental Defenders and park rangers as well as land rights activists to record vehicles and illegal logging activities but also the presence of key species, some of which are critically endangered. Acquiring acoustic surveillance and communication will also increase the security of park guards and on-ground Environmental Defenders as they will be able to detect intruders and arrest poachers before they kill wildlife and loggers before they cut trees. By knowing in advance where threats are, planned interventions are possible thus, providing the local communities with the tools to defend their territory from degradation.

Through this innovative approach, we will use technology and leverage big data to enable Environmental Defenders, park rangers, and land rights activists to protect the threatened parks and protected areas and community reserves in real-time. When the right tech is in the hands of the right local groups, our collective strength can make a tremendous difference in protecting the planet we all share and the future we all depend upon.

This grant is timely. An innovative combination of a motivated local community, law, and technology, and this strategy will also help in picking up forensic evidence of illegal activity that can be used for submission as proof of incursions to the government and local authorities. It will allow us to successfully intervene to stop illegal poaching and logging especially now that the Corona Virus pandemic is leading to a surge in illegal wildlife activities.

Albertine Watch spokesperson, Bana Thala thala Uhuru

AI for Earth is a $50 million, 5-year program that brings the full advantage of Microsoft technology to those working to solve global environmental challenges in the key focus areas of climate, agriculture, water, and biodiversity. Through grants that provide access to cloud and AI tools, opportunities for education and training on AI, and investments in innovative, scalable solutions, AI for Earth works to advance sustainability across the globe.

Albertine Watch is one of the newest organizations to be recognized by Microsoft for its impact and potential, and will join a growing number of AI for Earth grantees worldwide.

Learn more:

Albertine Watch: https://www.albertinewatchdog.org/

Microsoft AI for Earth: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/aiforearth

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