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VANZAGO, Italy, Dec. 9, 2022/PRNewswire/ — WWF Italy, Rainforest Connection, and Huawei Italy have recently resumed their collaboration on the Nature Guardian series of zonal conservation projects. The second phase aims to study the impact of agriculture on Italy’s biodiversity using innovative audio surveillance technologies.

24 RFCx AudioMoth edge offline devices have been deployed to record the sounds of different animal species for 12 months in eight agroecosystems: Valle dello Sporeggio, Bosco di Vanzago, Ghirardi, Ripabianca di Jesi, Calanchi di Atri, Lago Penne, Monte Sant’Elia and Lake Preola/Gorghi Tondi.

The collected data is sent to a Huawei cloud platform for analysis using Rainforest Connection’s Arbimon tool, with the analysis function trained to recognize the calls of target species. The resulting data, which would be impossible to obtain with conventional manual methods, will be used to study the characteristics and trends of biodiversity in agroecosystems, including the relationship between different agricultural practices and nature conservation.

“Thanks to the renewed collaboration with Huawei and the Rainforest Connection, we will carry out bioacoustic studies that will allow us to compare the biodiversity of organically managed agricultural areas within WWF Oases with that of neighboring conventionally managed agricultural areas,” said Benedetta Flammini, Director of Marketing and Communication for WWF Italy.

Intensive industrial agriculture has had a devastating impact on global biodiversity. In 2021, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported that the global food system is the main driver of biodiversity loss, with agriculture alone responsible for 86% of extinction threats to facing 28,000 species. Additionally, 80% of global deforestation, 60% of freshwater use, and 23% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the impact of agriculture.

The European Commission (EC) recognizes that agricultural biodiversity is declining in the EU and responds with a common agricultural policy to enhance the variety of species, habitats and landscape features of EU agricultural ecosystems.

In line with WWF’s Food4Future, Huawei’s TECH4ALL program and EC policy, the project data is intended to help guide future best practices for sustainable agriculture, including balancing the needs of nature and people and the promotion of a food supply system that is resilient, inclusive, sustainable and healthier.

“At Huawei, we embrace the goals of the European Green Deal and the ‘farm to fork’ strategy,” said Wilson Wang, CEO of Huawei Italy. “By putting our technology at the service of these objectives, we want to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable food system, preserving the richness and variety that Italy can boast in terms of wildlife and habitats in agricultural environments.”

From the Alps to Sicily, the sites selected in the second phase of the Nature Guaridan project include apple orchards, vineyards, olive groves, citrus groves, wheat fields, and land devoted to growing cereals and vegetables.

Started in 2021, the first phase of the Nature Guardian project covers three WWF-protected oases in Italy: Lake Burano, the Orbetello lagoon and the Astroni crater. 45 AudioMoth offline and 10 Guardian online devices were deployed to study biodiversity and detect illegal activities such as poaching, unauthorized dirt bikes and logging. So far, the results have been positive. The system has identified 49 species of birds and mammals and has generated 2,000 alerts in real time about potentially illegal activities. The alerts have led to more than 30 on-the-spot checks, one of which resulted in the destruction of poaching equipment in December 2021 by Italian police and WWF.

About Huawei TECH4ALL

TECH4ALL is Huawei’s long-term digital inclusion initiative that aims to leave no one behind in the digital world. It focuses on four areas: enabling equity and quality of education, conserving nature with technology, enabling inclusive healthcare and development.

For more information, visit the Huawei TECH4ALL website at https://www.huawei.com/en/tech4all

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