Mapping remote island wildlife as part of international climate action

As part of a new climate action initiative, researchers will utilise 5G, AI and data science techniques to map wild plants and ancient forests on remote Indonesian islands.

This climate action initiative will use the experience gathered from a similar biotechnology project in the UK’s Sherwood Forest.

A group comprised of researchers from Birmingham City University, University of Tokyo, and Gorontalo State University will implement advanced technology across the Wallacea series of islands situated between Asia and Australia to record biodiversity and bioenergy sources, as well as for the identification of paths for ecological management.

The British Council funded project is being led by Associate Professors Taufiq Asyhari and Adel Aneiba at Birmingham City University; it adds to their experience delivering the Connected Forests 5G project to enhance connectivity, environmentalism, and tourism in the royal forest in Nottinghamshire.

The team will report their discoveries at the UN’s Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021. The conference will unite world leaders, climate experts and campaigners, who will together decide on future action for combatting climate change.

This initiative focuses on ‘net-zero’ opportunities through international collaboration, with the advantage of expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven smart environmental 5G, AI sensing, energy and process integration, and forestry plant sciences.

Project lead Associate Professor Taufiq Asyhari commented, “We are thrilled to be working with international partners on this ground breaking project that sees the application of world-leading digital technologies in areas of the world that are facing significant environmental challenges. The project offers a fantastic opportunity to share interim findings at COP26 in the UK and produces a powerful testament to international collaboration on the Climate Emergency.”

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, explained, “As the effects of climate change increase dramatically, the application of digital technologies can contribute to a more sustainable future. This work is very much in tune with our vision and longstanding commitment to social responsibility, and our tradition of harnessing entrepreneurial and knowledge leadership in digital innovation.”

Professor Hanifa Shah, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University, added, “It is thrilling to see that our growing expertise in 5G, AI and Future Telecommunications is being recognised internationally. We believe this project will strengthen the UK’s position as a research base for producing outcomes that impact economic and social welfare in developing economies. I am pleased to see this building on the collaboration and knowledge leadership stemming from the £10m 5G Connected Forest project funded by DCMS.”

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