San Francisco non-profit Rainforest Connection is recording sounds to protect nature in a dozen countries in partnership with Google, Huawei and Hitachi Vantara
Clipped onto a rope, climbing high up in a tree swaying in gusts of wind, Topher White finally reaches the roof of the rainforest and opens a laptop to run checks on a machine he built to transmit 24-hour live sound from the surrounding forest.
The machine is one of 27 “Guardian” sensors eavesdropping on forests in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province, to listen out for chainsaws
Over the next five or six years, White hopes to install tens of thousands of these audio sensors, which use old mobile phones, solar panels and a microphone, to fight illegal deforestation around the world.
“We’re basically building a nervous system for the natural world,” he said.
White, 39, got the idea to use sound in environmental protection 10 years ago, while volunteering at a conservation project for gibbons in Borneo.
We need a lot more “Topher White”s to save the forest ecosystem!