Zernez GR – The Swiss National Park has been chosen as one of the five reference areas where new digital technologies for environmental protection will be trialed. For this, the IUCN, the world’s largest environmental network, Huawei Switzerland, the Porini Foundation and the SNP have entered into a partnership.

Nationalpark
Image credit: Parc Naziunal Svizzer

 

The Swiss National Park (SNP) will host a pilot project that aims to increase the efficiency of environmental protection with the use of cutting-edge technology. For this, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Swiss National Park, the Porini Foundation (a non-profit organization) and the technology partner Huawei Switzerland have all joined forces, further details of which can be found in a press release.

This project comes under the umbrella of the global Tech4Nature partnership between the IUCN and Huawei. As part of this, innovative and in each case customized digital technologies are being tested across various reference areas. The Swiss National Park was chosen for the Alpine Site category. Located within the canton of Graubünden, the SNP is designated as a strict nature reserve (IUCN category Ia) and forms part of the UNESCO biosphere reserve Engiadina Val Müstair. It is the first area in Switzerland to be included in the IUCN's Green List in recognition of its exemplary environmental conservation record as well as for research in the Alps.

In the first project area, the focus will be on examining how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help with the evaluation of images from the 1.5 million camera traps in the national park. The second project area will cover research into digital tools for measuring, verifying and evaluating the climate protection contributions of the protected area. The aim is to provide certificates for every tonne of CO2 that is offset by the park. It is hoped that the solution can be used around the world in future. The Porini Foundation will develop a digital validation process for marketplace transactions of these certificates.

The experience and insights gained at the Swiss National Park will be shared both nationally and globally, while the aim will also be to replicate these as extensively as possible. “With the use of modern technologies, the Swiss National Park can meet its responsibilities in nature conservation, research and public relations more efficiently”, explains Ruedi Haller, Director of the SNP. “We look forward to contributing to the development of these technologies together with our partners before making this expertise available to other protected areas”.

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