Huawei and IUCN host Tech4Nature summit to promote innovation in nature conservation

Some of the participants at Huawei's 2024 Tech4Nature Summit in Shanghai, China. [Courtesy]

Huawei and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) jointly hosted the 2024 Tech4Nature Summit.

The summit held in Shanghai China, was to mark the commencement of Phase 2 of the Tech4Nature global partnership and further promote innovation in nature conservation.

Aligned with Huawei’s Tech4All initiative and IUCN’s Green List, Tech4Nature represents the joint vision of both partners to develop technological solutions for Protected and Conserved Areas (PCA) across the globe.

It is also the first time that either Huawei or IUCN has established a major partnership spanning both the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and nature conservation sectors.

The ‘Tech4Nature’ phase is running between 2023–2026 to support flagship six projects in Kenya, China, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Turkey.

The summit marked the official launch of these six projects, following the agreement to launch Phase 2 that Huawei and IUCN announced in October 2023.

Phase 2 also represents the joint commitment of IUCN and Huawei to develop cutting-edge technology solutions to support the 30x30 target and Target 4 on preventing extinction defined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (BBF).

This phase will also expand collaboration between the technology and nature conservation sectors by involving more people, partners, and countries.

The three-day summit was attended by conservation practitioners, academics, private sector and government representatives, and the broader Tech4Nature community.

Workshops were held to build capacity among partners, explore action plans for achieving fair and effective conservation through the IUCN Green List, discuss ethical considerations and provide guidance on implementation, and enable peer-to-peer learning and exchange.

The partners also launched the Tech4Nature flagship publication Partnership for our Planet which highlights the crucial position that cutting-edge technological solutions occupy in responding to modern conservation challenges.

“The natural world faces unprecedented challenges, and technology and digital solutions can be a powerful force for good to protect our planet’s biodiversity. That is why IUCN established the Tech4Nature partnership with Huawei,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, Director General of IUCN.

“I am proud to see this partnership moving to the next phase, helping all stakeholders to unite for nature and build a better future.”

Tech4Nature Phase 1 ran from 2020 to 2023 in five PCAs in China, Mauritius, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland.

Major successes include acoustic monitoring of the world’s rarest ape - the Hainan gibbon - to identify individual animals to help this critically endangered species repopulate.

Aguilar said AI pattern recognition to identify and track jaguars in Mexico and advanced systems for live viewing and monitoring of coral reef conservation and restoration projects are among other successes gained in phase 1.

“As a technical partner of governments, customers, and environmental protection agencies, Huawei is ready to continuously explore environment and nature protection scenarios, develop appropriate digital technologies to address environmental protection challenges, and jointly build a more equal and sustainable digital world,” said Tao Jingwen, Board Member and Chairman of the CSD Committee for Huawei.

He said Huawei implements four sustainable development strategies as well as the S.H.A.R.E concept:

“To ensure a sustainable digital future, we will work with industry chain partners to build a harmonious and healthy business ecosystem, maximise equality and accessibility through digital inclusion, and develop secure and reliable ICT infrastructure and services to safeguard the digital world,” said Jingwen.

He said Through scientific and technological innovation, the world can achieve social development and ecological balance.