SDG15: Life on Land
Why it matters
SDG 15 seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystem, necessitating a profound transformation in our relationship with the natural world. The rates of forest loss, land degradation and species extinction are escalating, posing a severe threat to the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.
The industry’s contribution
Mobile technologies, such as mobile devices, satellites, IoT and AI, have significant potential in engineering innovative solutions to support progress on SDG 15, particularly in natural resource management (NRM). The use of mobile technologies in NRM is still nascent but has grown steadily over the last decade. The GSMA has identified 131 NRM projects where mobile technologies were being used, with forest management accounting for nearly a quarter of all projects. Digital innovation is also growing quickly in other areas, such as wildlife conservation (e.g. counter-poaching and species preservation).
In the Philippines, for example, mobile operator Smart Communications, Huawei, non-profit Rainforest Connection and the government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources are working together to test a new monitoring system that leverages connected mobile devices and AI to prevent illegal logging and animal poaching in five protected areas. The solution helps detect the sound of human activity (e.g. chainsaws or motor vehicles) and captures data on animal patterns and behaviours.
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Maximising mobile’s impact by 2030
Scaling up the deployment of IoT solutions will be crucial to maximising mobile’s contribution to SDG 15. In LMICs, IoT is a nascent area for most operators. Most use cases require a mixed set of skills and resources, as well as a partnership-based model. Operators can scout regional and local tech hubs to identify relevant startups or build their own IoT-centric incubators (e.g. Orange 5G Lab Dakar and XL Axiata’s X-Camp in Indonesia).
Pietro Labriola, CEO, TIM