In Episode 7 of our 'Igniting Change' podcast, Tea joins us from WRI to discuss the massive impact that data is having in shaping sustainability and monitoring the earth's resources on a global scale...
This week on our podcast, Rich and Gabby sat down with Tea, Product Manager at the World Resources Institute (WRI), who has extensive experience working with businesses, non-profit organisations, academia and governments to innovate their sustainability and data approaches. With an educational background in human-centric design, technology and entrepreneurship, she has plenty to offer when it comes to innovation, especially in the tech space. Tea is currently working with WRI on 7 challenge areas; Food, Water, Oceans, Cities, Energy, Forests and Climate to best protect resources through data and innovation.
Tea works within the data lab at WRI, which operates as WRI’s core technology and innovation unit. Within the data lab, Tea and the team work to support WRI’s goals across the 7 challenge areas. This involves working both within WRI’s many teams but also working with outside NGOs to support data strategy, data science and much more. By working with these outside partners, this helps WRI to have a wider range of impact.
Data plays a huge role in protecting our natural resources. By using data to spot trends, apps like Global Forest Watch can have real impact in allowing visualisation of data to showcase deforestation and allow forests to be monitored on a global scale. Tasks like these would be impossible without the use of technology, and are hugely important to the core values of WRI. By working with a range of NGOs and indigenous people, WRI can ensure that forests are correctly managed, by giving these people access to understandable data that enables them to monitor how their forests change over time.
Global Forest Watch has been able to deliver amazing results and really is helping protect rainforests in many real world scenarios. Tea told us of an example of a Brazilian public attorney who received an award from the Brazilian supreme court for innovation of the justice system, by using Global Forest Watch solutions to tackle illegal deforestation. This allowed for the prosecution of companies breaching deforestation laws in Brazil as this could now be proven with tangible evidence through Global Forest Watch.
Another example that Tea shared was from the Global Wildlife Conservation working with community members of the Republic of Nicaragua to help protect their forests. By creating a group of indigenous forest rangers, who knew their forests well, the Global Wildlife Conservation could use Global Forest Watch to empower these forest rangers with access to hugely informative data about the status of their forests. By using this data, the forest rangers could adjust their patrol routes to best cover areas that may be damaged by deforestation or fire. By documenting evidence of illegal deforestation, the forest ranger team can work with local authorities to remove illegal activity.
Tea has a love for satellite technology. This comes down to the massive impact that such technologies can have on the world by delivering accurate and timely data. By seeing the world from a top-level perspective, we can see the impact that we are having on the planet and make decisions based on extensive data metrics. In 2018, London Economics conducted research into the cost effectiveness and benefit analysis of the UK space agency’s international partnership programme and found that for many sectors. For example, re-forestry was 12 times more effective when analysed from satellite technology than through alternative solutions.
GHGSAT is a satellite research company who focus on monitoring greenhouse gases across many sectors, allowing industrial based businesses to see how they can become more efficient and safe within their operations.
ICEYE is another great example of satellites doing good. ICEYE visualises their data and makes radio satellite scans highly accessible and easy to understand. Their solutions are used for monitoring flooding, and provide huge benefits to many companies and governments with their informative and user-friendly data.
To hear more of our conversation with Tea, listen now using the links below!
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Published on October 14, 2022, last updated on October 14, 2022