AI, 5G, Data Science Could Help Map Wild Plants, Ancient Forests on Indonesian Islands

A most recent climate action research initiative will make use of AI, 5G, and data science to map wild plants and ancient forests on remote Indonesian islands, with the help of experience gained from a similar biotechnology project in the United Kingdom’s legendary Sherwood Forest.

AI, 5G, Data Science Could Help Map Wild Plants, Ancient Forests on Indonesian Islands

Image Credit: Birmingham City University.

At the Birmingham City University, a research group in collaboration with the University of Tokyo in Japan and Gorontalo State University in Indonesia will employ the most sophisticated technology throughout the Wallacea series of islands situated between Asia and Australia to register biodiversity and sources of bioenergy, and determine routes for ecological management.

The six-month initiative funded by the British Council is headed by Associate Professors Taufiq Asyhari and Adel Aneiba from Birmingham City University and is based on their experience in providing the Connected Forests 5G project to enhance connectivity, tourism, and environmentalism in the royal forest in Nottinghamshire, UK, which is familiar for its connections with the legend of Robin Hood.

The scientists will report interim results at the UN’s Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in early November 2021.

COP26 will gather heads of state, campaigners, and climate experts to agree on coordinated action to address climate change. As holders of the COP26 Presidency, the United Kingdom is dedicated to working with all countries and uniting forces with companies, civil society, and people on the frontline of climate change to motivate action ahead of the conference.

The project grabs the chances related to “net zero” via a newly developed international collaboration, leveraging expertise in AI-driven smart environmental know-how 5G, energy and process integration, AI sensing, and forestry plant sciences.

We are thrilled to be working with international partners on this groundbreaking 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.

Taufiq Asyhari, Project Lead and Associate Professor, Birmingham City University

Being named after Alfred Russell Wallace FRS, a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, and biologist, Wallacea—located in the mainly Indonesian archipelago—is well-known for its mega biodiversity.

Wallace was more commonly known for individually proposing the theory of evolution via natural selection. His papers on the subject were published collaboratively with a few of Charles Darwin’s writings in 1858, which urged Darwin to publish.

The British Council COP26 Trilateral Research & Innovation Initiative is considered one of only two one-off grants provided by the UK Government in this research field.

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.

Julian Beer, Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University

It is encouraging to see that our growing expertise in 5G, AI, and Future Telecommunications is being recognized 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,” stated Professor Hanifa Shah, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University.

I am pleased to see this building on the collaboration and knowledge leadership stemming from the £10m 5G Connected Forest project funded by DCMS,” added Professor Shah.

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