Nature FIRST project: Protecting Biodiversity with Forensic Intelligence and Remote Sensing Technologies

 Nature FIRST project: Protecting Biodiversity with Forensic Intelligence and Remote Sensing Technologies

Nature FIRST is an EU-funded project which is developing predictive, proactive and preventative tools for nature conservation: ecosystem base maps, monitoring systems, digital twin models and semantic-driven data methods and tools. The tools are demonstrated in the following European regions: The Carpathian mountains (Romania and Ukraine), The Danube Delta river (Romania), The Stara Planina mountains (Bulgaria), and the Ancares y O Courel, the largest green reserve in Galicia, Spain. Six months after the start, the Nature FIRST consortium held its General Assembly event in South Africa to review current achievements and discuss the future of the project. 

From Africa to Europe: Different Environments, Same Challenges

Wildlife forensic training: Application of basic forensic science knowledge to a mock scene / Image credit: Nature FIRST consortium partner

The world’s first Wildlife Forensic Academy was a perfect location and backdrop to the combination of Forensic Intelligence and Remote Sensing Technologies that the Nature FIRST project deploys to develop fit-for-purpose tools and information for monitoring biodiversity in Natura 2000 areas.

The experience gained in South Africa highlighted the importance of equipping rangers, managers, researchers, and first responders with the necessary observational skills to detect threats and prevent degradation and criminal activity, such as illegal logging, pollution, and poaching. This experience can be translated to Europe, where similar issues are prevalent in various protected areas.

The Nature FIRST consortium partners noted the novelty of the knowledge gained during workshops at the Academy.

Combining Semantic Web Technologies and Earth Observation for Nature Conservation

General Assembly of the Nature FIRST project  / Image credit: Nature FIRST consortium partner

During the General Assembly event, the knowledge graphs were demonstrated by Semantic Web Company. These graphs with the usage of semantic web technologies can display and visualise links between habitat species, the same habitat in different locations etc., allowing users to find unexpected commonalities. The power of Earth Observation (Satellite) imagery for habitat maps was also demonstrated by 3eData, as well as the digital twins’ development plans were demonstrated by Wageningen University & Research. And the project coordinator, Sensing Clues is able to bring all these different sources together in their platform!

You can see the whole list of Nature FIRST consortium partners via the link:

Game-Changing Project for Biodiversity Monitoring and Nature Conservation

If you are passionate about nature conservation and interested in the latest innovations and technologies being used to protect our planet’s biodiversity, then don’t miss the opportunity to watch the video from the General Assembly event of the Nature FIRST project.

The video provides an overview of the project’s achievements so far, showcases the beautiful landscapes being protected, and highlights the innovative tools and methods being developed to monitor and prevent biodiversity decline. By watching the video, you can learn about the project’s goals, achievements, and future plans, and become inspired to take action and support nature conservation efforts in your own community. 

Featured image: Participants of the General Assembly of Nature FIRST project (credit: Nature FIRST consortium partner)
Author: Kacia Rutkoŭskaja, Linda van Duivenbode

Kacia Rutkoŭskaja

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