November 12, 2020

Tracking Deforestation in Southeast Asia with Geospatial AI

Tracking Deforestation in Southeast Asia with Geospatial AI
This blog posts delves into the movement patterns between the palm oil plantations and the refinery mills in Sabah, Malaysia.
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Did you know that 598892 hectares (2312 square miles or 5989 square kilometers) of forest areas were burnt and cleared for palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia in the past 4 years ?

CITYDATA has partnered with Earthqualizer Foundation and CubeEye to monitor the supply chain movement trends in the plantations and forests in Indonesia and Malaysia to ensure sustainable production and responsible consumption.

Time series animation of movement patterns in Sabah, Malaysia

The time series animation in the above map traces the transport of palm oil fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from the planted areas in the forests to the dealer distribution centers, processing mills, and refinery locations using mobile data movement analysis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that limiting global warming to below 1.5 ⁰C requires maintaining forests as carbon sinks. However, global deforestation is accelerating, which is also linked to loss of biodiversity, water scarcity and other sustainability threats. Concerted efforts by supply chain actors, law makers, and financiers can curb this worrying trend.

Tropical deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion, for example palm oil, soy and cattle production. Through near real-time monitoring of deforestation using CITYDATA's geospatial intelligence platform combined with an in-depth analysis of the commodity value chain, brands and multinational corporations can integrate deforestation into their decision-making processes.

Snapshot of movement between palm oil plantations and refineries in Sabah, Malaysia

Data for Humanity

The CITYDATA team has always had a civic bent. We recently announced that for each commercial project that we take on, we will execute a pro-bono project for the greater good. Below are the broad themes that we intend to focus on in 2021.

Good health and well being
People movement patterns for disease propagation analysis and modeling for predictive insights.
Affordable and clean energy
People presence and OD analysis for electric vehicles charging stations, solar lighting points, and power grid optimization.
Sustainable green conservation
Monitoring the supply chain movement trends in the plantations & forests to ensure sustainable production and responsible consumption.

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