Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter

Innovating for the forests: charting a new course against deforestation

In 2022, deforestation rates increased by 4%, setting us back 21% from the 2030 target to cease deforestation. (Shutterstock)
In 2022, deforestation rates increased by 4%, setting us back 21% from the 2030 target to cease deforestation. (Shutterstock)
Short Url:
27 Mar 2024 07:03:52 GMT9

As we marked International Day of Forests last week, let us recognize the silent guards that are our planet’s forests. These supports of biodiversity and natural heritage are hovering on the edge, facing threats from human encroachment and climate instability.

Deforestation is a relentless force, eroding our forests. This destruction is not just about losing trees — it is about the breakdown of ecosystems, the silencing of countless species, and the depletion of crucial carbon reservoirs. The effects are felt worldwide, influencing climate, water resources, and the air on which we rely. The UN has identified deforestation as the source of up to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually, underscoring the need for prompt action.

In 2022, deforestation rates increased by 4 percent, setting us back 21 percent from the 2030 target to cease deforestation. The Amazon, the heart of our planet, is being depleted at an alarming rate. The Congo basin, with its distinctive wildlife, is under constant threat. Southeast Asia’s forests are rapidly shrinking, with the Tropical Forest Alliance reporting a loss of about 1.5 million hectares in just one year.

In these critical times, Alwaleed Philanthropies has created an innovative initiative to utilize technological advancements to counteract deforestation. Atlai is an artificial intelligence-powered platform providing monitoring and reporting on deforestation around the world. Pioneered by Alwaleed Philanthropies, Atlai harnesses the power of AI to unlock the potential of collective action through accessible climate data. As part of Alwaleed Philanthropies’ commitment to supporting a healthier environment, Atlai empowers the global community working to combat deforestation through the provision of accessible, actionable data.

Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, Atlai makes climate data accessible, enabling environmentalists, policymakers, and local communities to take informed action.

Access to accurate and timely data is paramount in the fight against deforestation. Atlai serves as an electronic guard, providing a comprehensive view of the forests’ health and the challenges they face. By compiling satellite imagery, ground reports, and advanced algorithms, Atlai identifies critical areas of deforestation, then generates reports, social media posts or facts about the deforestation activity in addition to creating a country profile and providing data for the past 20 years. This data is not just informative, but also transformative. It empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions, leading to targeted conservation efforts, holding governments and corporations accountable, and fostering a global community of forest guardians.

Atlai hopes to open the door for more collective approaches where inclusive and accessible platforms can help accelerate the solutions to the climate transition.

Let us rally around Atlai. Spreading awareness, supporting growing initiatives, and advocating for policy changes can amplify Atlai’s impact. Alwaleed Philanthropies’ commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship calls upon us to act. Together, we can reverse deforestation, restore lost ecosystems, and protect our forests for the future.

  • Princess Lamia bint Majed Al-Saud is secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies. Twitter: @lamia1507
Most Popular

return to top