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Mexico celebrates one year of the Tech4Nature project in Dzilam de Bravo State Reserve, in the Yucatán Peninsula

Posted Tuesday 27 June 2023
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The Tech4Nature “Green-In Sites” event was held in Mérida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, between 17–18 May 2023. The event brought together various stakeholders such as IUCN, Huawei, C Minds, the State Secretariat of Sustainable Development (SDS), the Polytechnic University of Yucatán and the local indigenous Maya community of Dzilam de Bravo to discuss and highlight how innovative digital technology can help achieve fair and effective management of protected and conserved areas, especially in Mexico. The event featured presentations, an online meeting, and field visits that highlighted the innovative and collaborative solutions that technology can offer for conservation challenges. 

IUCN, founding member of the Tech4Nature partnership with Huawei, highlighted the diverse opportunities that technology offers in advancing our shared global goal of inclusive conservation and stewardship of protected and conserved areas. IUCN also stressed the importance of ensuring that technology is used in a way that respects the rights and values of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and that fosters their participation and empowerment.  

This is exactly what C Minds, in partnership with Huawei and IUCN, is achieving through the Tech4Nature project in Mexico as they are deploying technology to understand and improve the conservation status of 34 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, including the apex predator and largest cat in the Americas – the Jaguar. By ensuring that the local communities are at the center pf the project, engaged, trained, and empowered, it will ensure the effective transfer of knowledge while alternative livelihood opportunities are created. For more information, read this Press Release from C Minds. 

The Tech4Nature project in Mexico has demonstrated so far successful results and has proven effective to also indirectly tackle other challenges. For instance, illegal hunting activities have reportedly decreased in the focus area of the Tech4Nature project, the Dzilam de Bravo State Reserve. Although still early days, the increase in frequency of keystone species detected on the camera traps is a positive sign indeed. Additionally, through the Huawei AI Cloud, a high volume of biodiversity data is now able to be efficiently processed that informs conservation decision making and action. 

Going forward, IUCN is aware that a significant challenge will be to scale up this type of innovative digital technology solutions to improve the effective management and fair governance of protected and conserved areas globally, improving the conservation status of threatened species. There is a clear need to scale up these case studies where local communities living in, and around protected and conserved areas are fairly involved in using technology for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Ultimately, these well designed and implemented locally led initiatives can help achieve countries make informed decisions that lead to decisive action and contribute to achieving the Target 3 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. 

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