Challenge

The Amazon represents over half of our planet’s remaining rainforests, and its incredible biodiversity is an invaluable natural resource. Between 1985-2019, 336,681 square miles of native vegetation was lost to deforestation in Brazil alone - that’s a 10 percent destruction of Brazilian lands. Imazon, a Brazil-based organization, promotes sustainable development in the Amazon through studies, support for public policy formulation, broad dissemination of information, and capacity building. But without comprehensive machine learning, Imazon’s forest models were incomplete—giving them only half the picture.

Solutions

Imazon, together with Fundo Vale and Microsoft are integrating an existing rainforest deforestation risk model algorithm into Azure. With a more robust image processing forest model, PrevisIA can identify unofficial roads, one of the leading indicators of future deforestation, simulating future scenarios to stop rainforest loss events, like forest fires, before they happen. The resulting risk maps, probability maps, and dashboards will not only allow Imazon to predict future deforestation, but also create risk alerts, and use AI to cover more areas at scale. The model will be more precise and allow for expanded data inputs. It is designed with policymakers in mind so they can make better decisions to protect our biodiversity, while conservationists can use the same dashboards to support their mission.

How Imazon uses Azure

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Looking through trees at the sunset.

30 years promoting conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon.

A monkey in a tree, holding a nut, stares into the camera.

Photo credits:

Header image of Amazon waterway provided by Imazon; photo credit Marcio Nagano. Sunset image of water and trees provided by Imazon.