From recovery to restoration: AI for Climate

By Constanza Gómez Mont and Christopher Córdova

The world needs to see beyond post-COVID recovery: it needs to aim at ecosystem protection and restoration for climate stability and nature and social well-being.

The advances in digitalization around the world projected for the next 5 years were achieved in just 8 weeks due to the current pandemic, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) leading a key part of this transformation. There is no doubt that AI is redefining every field and has quickly become a cornerstone of the new digital economy.

This also comes at a time when the climate agenda needs urgent solutions. In this sense, identifying the possibilities the use of AI can bring to accelerate pragmatic solutions becomes an imperative for our civilization.

AI for Climate aims to deepen the questions and accelerate concrete actions to how the rights-based and ethical use of AI can fast-track humanity’s response to the profound and irreversible effects of climate change, focusing our efforts in the protection, restoration and regeneration of nature reserves.

Our theory of change is based on the belief that more collaboration between sectors and disciplines is needed, and that we must use the best of humanity’s toolbox to achieve meaningful change in areas where AI-based systems are needed to help amplify impact.

Biodiversity is the backbone of life as we know it. The most practical way to protect biodiversity is by protecting ecosystems (for example an entire jungle, with all of its living beings, from plants to animals, and from insects to micro-organisms, plus all the things that make life possible there: water, soil, energy-transfer, among others.). The easiest way to protect ecosystems is by creating natural reserves, areas destined for the conservation of nature. Due to the immense destruction we have caused on the planet’s ecosystems, in most cases we must not only preserve but also restore the ecosystems, repairing damage, and enabling lasting solutions.

Our purpose is to amplify efforts in the protection and restoration of public and private nature reserves around the world, which we see as one of the most important steps towards climate stability and environmental and human wellness. To this end, AI for Climate is a global initiative that works for the conservation and regeneration of ecosystems by harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and multi stakeholder collaborations.

Our three main goals:

Enabling living labs: Protecting natural reserves by developing AI-powered tools to complement and amplify the impact of on-site strategies. 10 natural reserves in the first stage. 100 in the second stage globally. We collaborate closely with the local stakeholders, with a special focus on commonly marginalized communities that live in and around the reserves, to engage them in the post-COVID green recovery efforts.

Create an open World Data Pool/Trust: A comprehensive collaborative global data pool to fast-forward AI-based open tools to empower institutions and change-makers working on the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and the protection of natural reserves.

Curate and engage a global community of knowledge: Sharing knowledge between countries, between peers, and between disciplines. Bringing together key actors from the AI, conservation, climate change and Circular Economy fields together to inspire, generate knowledge and find collaborations that harness the power of AI and other emerging technologies.

Views expressed in this publication are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paris Peace Forum.

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Christopher Córdova is a conservationist focused on protecting natural reserves around the world with the best of technology, including Artificial Intelligence. He is the author of 20 books and hundreds of opinion articles. He has also presented over 120 lectures at top institutions in 14 countries and directed or advised sustainability projects in 20 countries.

Constanza Gómez Mont is committed to achieving an inclusive digital transformation in Latin America and other regions in the Global South. This led her to found and direct C Minds, a women-led action-tank. Through C Minds, she is co-founder of the National AI coalition in Mexico; AI Climate Global initiative; Latin America Circle for IEEE Global Partnership. She is a high-level advisor to UNESCO, IADB, IEEE for AI governance, and AI ethics.

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Better #governance for a world at peace. Visit: www.parispeaceforum.org

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