It’s a special time for us! AI for Climate was launched 2 years ago and we want to celebrate with you!
The AI for Climate initiative, created by C Minds and the Christopher Cordova Agency– and implemented by the Future of Earth Program by C Minds–, began its operations in 2020 with a goal in mind: Amplifying and accelerating actions for climate stability, a more sustainable economy and a healthier population, by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and cross-cutting collaborations.
Two years later, we are proud to tell you how we are working to enable a global platform to develop AI tools to support the conservation and regeneration of nature reserves through three components: 1) create a global network of AI driven Living Labs in nature reserves to amplify and accelerate conservation efforts; 2) create a network of global learning platforms to help bridge the silos between the fields of technology innovation, climate and conservation; and 3) open conservation data pools for AI training that will allow to train the AI models powering the world’s conservation and restoration solutions in collaboration with leading AI groups to help accelerate the availability of robust data and develop the most effective open AI models based on local contexts.
We want to share with you some of our achievements from the past two years:
Living Labs for Conservation
As part of this component, we explore the use of AI systems to strengthen the protection and management of public and private nature reserves around the globe. We have a special focus on coastal and marine ecosystems (where CO2 sequestration is stronger), as well as land high-biodiversity ecosystems. For us, the inclusion of communities to co-design the strategies and implementation is vital.
During 2021 to gain an in-depth understanding of regional needs and opportunities, we conducted two high-level round-tables and a series of interviews with local communities and experts in the Mexican Caribbean, where our first Living Lab will be located. For this living lab, we will develop tools together with government, private and academic institutions that local communities can adapt to their needs, including AI-based solutions, environmental monitoring technology solutions, and the training needed to integrate their own systems and perform their own data analysis.
Image 2. First AI for Climate high-level roundtable. Photo credit: Jaziel Carballo, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Higher Education (SIIES).
As a result of these efforts, made possible thanks to the generosity of time and efforts of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Higher Education (SIIES), the Ministry of Sustainable Development (SDS), the AI for Climate team, published a recommendation for the case study: "Autonomous sensors for environmental monitoring of Yucatan's coastal lagoons", which seeks to strengthen the protection of remote lagoon areas to increase spatio-temporal knowledge of physicochemical parameters in aqueous systems, in order to strengthen the generation of actions for the conservation of wetland ecosystems.
The online presentation of the report took place online on September 28, 2022.
Image 3.American flamingo in the Dzilam Reserve. Photo credit: Jaziel Carballo, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Higher Education (SIIES).
Global Learning Platform
Knowing the impact that climate change related problems impose on societies, the objective of this component is to share best practices, technologies and resources across sectors. We aim to carry out annual high-level global events and various technology and knowledge transfer mechanisms that help bridge the silos between the fields of technology innovation, climate and conservation.
In the first two years of the initiative, we have held two global forums, two series of lightning talks and an ambassadorial meeting.
Lightning Talks Series (2020)
The 2020 Lightning Talks series featured eight speakers from Mexico, the United States and Canada. This first series presented some amazing examples of the use of disruptive technologies to understand the effects of climate change, advance conservation and restoration efforts through innovation and social participation around the world.
The topics covered in this series go from the potential of blue bonds to support island and coastal nations to create long-term sustainable financing for marine and coastal protection; ecotourism and its variants to offer sustainable tourism through innovative experiences; the potential of leveraging technology to support community conservation of the geohydrological reserve of the cenotes ring in the Yucatan Peninsula; the importance of engaging local communities in leveraging new technologies to preserve and restore forests in Mexico; the power of innovation and impact investing for climate solutions and to address environmental challenges worldwide; and how AI systems, ML and geospatial technologies can be used to determine the impacts and effects of climate change in different ecosystems.
This series reached 168 attendees from 12 countries and generated 70k impressions on social networks.
Image 4. Turning the tide: Technologies to Protect our Oceans. First Lightning Talks Series, 2020.
AI for Climate Global Forum (2020)
The annual AI for Climate Global Forum brings together experts from the fields of AI, conservation, disruptive technologies, economics and public policy, among others, to explore and discuss the power of AI to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Climate Agenda.
In 2020, the first AI for Climate Global Forum, held on November 25-26, 2020, brought together experts in climate change, AI systems, conservation, public policy, impact investing, national security, digitization, sustainable development and international cooperation. It deepened the conversation around the potential of exponential technologies to accelerate efforts focused on climate stability, ecosystem conservation, sustainable economies, and healthy and resilient populations in the face of climate change impacts through cross-sectoral and international cooperation schemes.
This event was held in a hybrid format, with a face-to-face component in the city of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Thus, the first day of the global forum began by addressing why the fight against climate change is important for the State of Yucatan, as well as current efforts and opportunities. Following this line, the importance of accelerating the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda in Mexico and the world was discussed, along with the presentation of incredible use cases on the use of new technologies, such as VR and bioacoustic monitoring, to protect natural reserves and endangered species. The second day of the Forum addressed the role of industry in promoting sustainable development, as well as the important role of finance in investing in climate solutions, the impact of climate change events on the security of countries and the importance of acting together to address these common challenges.
During the two-day event, 30 international speakers and attendees from 17 countries participated, with a total impact of:
+250k social media impressions.
+5,4k people reached through the live broadcast.
+60 communication alliances.
Image 5. Opening session. 2020 edition of the AI for Climate Global Forum.
Mexico Lighting Talks Series. Powered by Huawei (2021)
In 2021, the Mexico Lightning Talks series, powered by Huawei, featured 8 experts from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and the United States. It presented ideas and initiatives about the use of frontier technologies, such as AI systems, for the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity, in connection with the SDGs, with a special focus in Mexico and Latin America.
One of the main focuses of this series was the potential of using ICTs and new technologies to advance sustainable development. To this end, we witnessed a session that delved into the potential of AI systems to advance several of the SDGs. In relation to the role of new technologies to preserve life on land (SDG15), we heard an amazing example about the use of AI systems, Big Data, and IoT to monitor and protect big cats in Asia; and another on the use of new technologies to predict illegal poaching and logging hotspots, activities that threaten species and biodiversity. Regarding the SDG10, we heard about the intersection between environmental justice and the unintended consequences of AI systems. For the SDG14, we listened to how AI systems are already an important tool to monitor potential distribution of marine life under the effects of ocean warming and acidification. Finally, in relation to the use of new technologies for climate action (SDG13), three sessions addressed the role of geospatial technologies and ML to increase resilience to natural disasters, to assess the impact of events related to global warming, such as forest fires, and finally, the importance of investing in Climate Tech.
This series received more than 260K social media impressions and gathered more than 1K unique viewers on Youtube, Facebook Live and Zoom.
Image 6. Predicting the effects of global warming with AI-based systems. Mexico Lightning Talks Series powered by Huawei, 2021.
AI for Climate Global Forum (2021)
The 2021 edition of the AI for Climate Global Forum, launched on December 2-3, unlocked access to conversations between experts in climate change, AI systems, conservation, sustainable development and other fields to discuss the potential of exponential technologies and AI systems to drive efforts focused on accelerating biodiversity protection, water security and net zero emissions goals, leaving no one behind.
In this sense, the contents of the 2021 Global Forum were arranged into four thematic tracks: AI for Biodiversity, AI for Water, AI for Net-Zero and AI for People.
In the following paragraphs, we share with you some information about the tracks:
At the AI for Biodiversity track we heard about some of the most innovative examples of the use of responsible and sophisticated AI techniques, Blockchain, NFTs, remote sensing, image analysis, and more, to preserve endangered species, crops and biodiversity, restore degraded ecosystems, and tackle biodiversity loss. You have to check out the amazing Masterclass prepared by CRIM for this track!
For the AI for Water track we hosted a pair of fantastic conversations about how the use of machine learning methods, bio-acoustics methods and climate modeling techniques can accelerate the development of public policies focused on preserving the world's oceans and freshwater resources.
The AI for Net-Zero track deepens some interesting ways in which AI methods are being applied in the energy and transportation sector to optimize the power grid and improve the competitiveness of the renewable energy market.
Finally, during the AI for People track we learned more about the power of people in advancing climate action, innovation, financing, and conservation through the use of frontier technologies; as well as the ethical considerations that must be applied throughout AI systems life cycle to leave no-one behind.
This dialogue space facilitated knowledge sharing, as well as networking and collaboration between academic institutions, international organizations and startups. It hosted 34 international speakers from 15 countries, reached people from 140 countries and had a global impact of:
+220k social media impressions.
+3,4K Youtube views.
+7,8K Forum's website visitors.
Achieved our gender equality goal, having 50% women speakers and 50% men from diverse cultural backgrounds.
As a result of this second Global Forum, a policy brief will be published in the upcoming months, so stay tuned!
Image 7. Biodiversity and Food Systems session. 2021 edition of the AI for Climate Global Forum.
What’s next ?
It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change will cause various risks with widespread impacts and consequent losses and damage to nature and people, with heat waves, droughts, forest fires and other extreme phenomena increasing in frequency and intensity. In addition, close to one million species are at risk of extinction due to human activity. How we take advantage of all available resources and tools, as well as access to appropriate technologies and the creation of inclusive governance and scaled-up financing schemes, will be vital for climate resilient development.
In this way, we fully believe that working towards climate change adaptation and mitigation is a multidimensional and intersectional effort that needs all people and sectors acting together. Consolidating strategic alliances between industries, academia, NGOs, governments and communities, AI systems will be the cornerstone for sustainable development and climate resilience.
We need to act now, together and in full solidarity to take advantage of this short window we have to address climate change.
We invite you to collaborate with us at the AI for Climate initiative, because we are confident that, working together, we can achieve positive change. Follow us on our social media channels at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!