Environmental activism? There are apps for that

first_imgFor Indonesia, forest conservation and efforts to mitigate and prevent land and forest fires has been a big focus area in the digital space. The severity of annual blazes, which managed to raze 1.65 million hectares of land last year, has pushed environmental groups and government agencies to develop digital tools to help mitigate the disaster.Here are a few examples of apps that look to bridge the digital divide in conservation efforts:Urundata is a crowdsourcing app that invites its users to help interpret landscape and environmental data for research and environmental restoration purposes.The app, launched in April last year, boasts over 1,000 downloads on Google Play Store, with 1,055 data contributors in 19 campaigns helping to observe 4,408,458 landscape spots. Conservation and environmental activism are no longer limited to professionals working and interpreting data in the field, as regular civilians can now pitch in through mobile apps that not only educate, but also invite people to contribute to conservation efforts from the screens of their smartphones.As the global community commemorates World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reminds people that new technologies are “powerful tools to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges”.“International cooperation on digital technology is essential to […] achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Guterres said in his 2020 commemoration message. The app is a project of the RESTORE+ consortium, which consists of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASS), as well as 10 higher learning institutions in South Sumatra.IIASS scholar Ping Yowargana, one of the developers of the app, said the group looked at crowdsourcing efforts such as Kitabisa or change.org and wished to implement similar methods for data gathering on landscape information to help restoration efforts and guide policymaking.“We wanted to try quality crowdsourcing that still fulfills some scientific criteria, resulting in efficient and cheap data gathering gleaned from people’s contribution” Ping told The Jakarta Post this week.The app gamifies data gathering and interpretation, in which users are presented with satellite images of various landscapes and then asked to identify what kind of landscape it is – informing users of the differences between primary forests and man-made plantations.The app has so far gathered data from South Sumatra and East Kalimantan, provinces that have a wide range of geographical make-up and are prone to annual forest and land fires.It is currently gathering national data for restoration landscapes, asking users to distinguish between primary forests, secondary forests, plantations, agricultural land, grass fields and savannas.Ping said the data would be made publicly available on the urundata.id website once all the data had been collected.The Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) has also developed its own smartphone app dubbed Mitra Gambut (Peat Partners), together with the Partnership for Governance Reform (Kemitraan) nongovernmental organization.The app will serve as an online platform for villagers in peatland areas to share best practices on peatland restoration.The app, launched in 2018, has been installed on more than 1,000 devices, mostly by villagers and the project facilitators. It works like a social network platform, but puts an emphasis on geospatial features such as geotagging (marking the location of posts).The BRG’s deputy for promotional education and partnerships, Myrna Safitri, said Mitra Gambut was meant as a companion app for the agency’s Villages Care for Peatland program, so villagers and their facilitators have a platform to share their restoration practices and success stories.“The app is for them a place of education. They share what can be successfully planted in their villages, and in turn others are motivated to communicate [through the app],” she said.The Riau Police have developed a smartphone app called Lancung Kuning Nusantara to assist police and military personnel across 11 provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan to aid prevention and law enforcement against land and forest fires.With the app, security personnel and civilians can volunteer by reporting land and forest fires when they occur. Once they register for an account in the app, users are also able to look for hot spots that have emerged within the past 24 hours – using various satellite data and imaging to inform.For more simplified data on forest fires within the last 24 hours, the LAPAN: Fire Hotspot app is a solid alternative.Both apps have been installed on more than 50,000 devices.The Environment and Forestry Ministry has also jumped on the digital bandwagon by launching its land and forest fires monitoring system SiPongi, which is available through the sipongi.menlhk.go.id website and as a smartphone app. Found on Google Play Store, the app has been downloaded and installed on more than 1,000 devices.Topics :last_img read more

The Latest: National Soccer Hall of Fame to reopen Wednesday

first_imgThe Wales Rally GB has become the latest race in the world rally championship to be called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.The rally was scheduled for Oct. 29-Nov. 1. It was to be the penultimate event of the season.It’s the seventh WRC race to be postponed or canceled.Organizers say the uncertainty over large gatherings and international travel prompted the decision to cancel the Wales Rally GB for the first time since 1967.___ Organizers say they cannot overcome “uncertainty concerning the opening of borders” with Asia and the United States.Tournament chairman Franck Riboud says the cancellation is “unavoidable in view of the situation with regards to U.S. travel to continental Europe.”The Women’s British Open is still set for Aug. 20-23 in Troon, Scotland.The three majors played in the United States have been rescheduled for later in the year.___ The Georgia Tech coach also said the pandemic has forced him to change his philosophy on scheduling. The Yellow Jackets are likely to pick up more regional opponents as a way to cut down on costs, which is the reason they agreed to multi-year series with Georgia State, another Atlanta-based school that is only a few miles from the Tech campus, and UAB in neighboring Alabama.“We’re being nimble with our scheduling and what we have to do based on Covid-19,” Pastner said. “That’s really important budget-wise.”___The regular seasons in the third and fourth divisions of English soccer have been cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.The English Football League says clubs “voted by an overwhelming majority” to end the season and the final standings have been calculated using an unweighted points-per-game basis. June 9, 2020 Associated Press Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner is among those pushing to allow coaches to work with their players in July in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown, a change from voluntary summer workouts.The Yellow Jackets are reopening their athletic facilities on June 15 for Atlanta-based athletes to work out in small groups, but the sessions must be voluntary.Pastner said it’s important that basketball coaches be allowed to oversee the workouts beginning in July, given they haven’t been around their players since the pandemic brought sports to a halt in mid-March.“Our feeling is, ‘Why have the guys back on campus if they’re not able to work with the coaches in the gym?’” Pastner said.The NCAA’s Division I Council is set to take up the proposal at its June 17 meeting, according to Pastner. If it fails to pass, coaches will have to wait until classes begin in August to oversee players workouts. The league was canceled with Paris Saint-Germain declared champion. Lyon finished outside the European places in seventh.The Conseil d’Etat ruled that there was “no serious doubt as to the legality of the decision” to end the season prematurely. But it suspended the relegation of Amiens and Toulouse and ordered the French league to rethink the format of the 2020-21 season.___The Evian Championship women’s major golf tournament has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.The event in France had already been postponed from July to Aug. 6-9. The mayor of Madrid says there are discussions for the Spanish capital to host the Champions League final this season amid the coronavirus pandemic.José Luis Martínez-Almeida says the city would be prepared to host the final for the second straight year. He did not elaborate on the negotiations in his interview with 13tv.A UEFA executive committee meeting on June 17 is expected to decide the new location for the final in August. It was originally scheduled to be played in Istanbul in May.The country hosting the final is also expected to stage the quarterfinals and semifinals.German city Frankfurt and Portuguese capital Lisbon are also likely contenders to host the final. The Latest: National Soccer Hall of Fame to reopen Wednesday The framework retained promotion, relegation and the traditional four-team playoffs.Coventry and Rotherham have been promoted to the second division and Wycombe, Oxford, Portsmouth and Fleetwood will contest the playoffs.___France’s highest administrative court has upheld the decision to cancel the rest of the soccer season amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspended the relegations of Amiens and Toulouse to the second division.The Conseil d’Etat issued its ruling after Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas and the two demoted clubs took the case to court last month in a bid to force the league to play the remaining 10 matches of the aborted season. Spain was hard-hit by the pandemic but has been gradually lifting confinement restrictions.Madrid hosted last year’s final when Liverpool beat Tottenham.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The museum in Frisco, Texas, will reopen to the public Wednesday at 50% of its usual capacity. It has been closed since March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic.Facemasks will be encouraged but not required for guests, but social distancing protocols are required for all individual guests and groups.Only one group of guests will be allowed to use each interactive exhibit at a time, though some interactive exhibits like virtual reality won’t be available. Staff will be sanitize interactive experiences after each use, and the facility with be thoroughly cleaned each evening.The hall opened to the public in North Texas in November 2018 after being located in Oneonta, New York, from 1983-2010.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The National Soccer Hall of Fame is reopening for the first time in nearly three months.last_img read more