Using drones and AI to help communites manage forest resources sustainably.

Past and Current Partners

UNICEF Innovation, Singularity University, Google, NASA

Active Countries
Thematic area(s)
Climate, Inclusive Growth
Open Source, AI
Organisation Name

The Problem

Bioverse's target problem is deforestation and the destruction of forest ecosystems. The way that rainforests are valued by today's economy creates financial incentives to cut them down and convert them to other uses. However, healthy rainforests are full of valuable non-timber forest products that have the potential to enrich forest-dwelling communities in a sustainable fashion. Without technology, it can be difficult to locate these valuable species or to coordinate their harvest effectively.

The Solution

Bioverse's mission is to change the way humans do business with nature. Bioverse has developed expertise in drone and satellite-based forest inventory services that produce maps for community harvesters to use. These are all powered by the artificial intelligence algorithms developed to identify valuable species, such as the Brazil Nut Tree. Bioverse prioritises partnerships with organisations that have longstanding relationships with forest-dwelling communities so that they can further understand the needs and economic realities on the ground.

How it works?

  • Step 1: With companies that use non-timber forest products or with harvesting cooperatives, Bioverse identifies areas where further harvest activities are possible, legally and logistically.
  • Step 2: In conjunction with the communities and families that harvest from these areas, they conduct aerial surveys.
  • Step 3: Based on successful species identifications, they generate in-hand Abundance Maps for the harvesters that indicate precisely where the relevant species can be found.
  • Step 4. Training harvesters in the use of these in-hand abundance maps and offering any necessary technological support.
Digital X Solution Bioverse

Bridging the digital divide

Forest-dwelling communities often lack connectivity and are therefore less digitally literate. Early users found it more comfortable to use maps that Bioverse has printed for them rather than using an in-hand mobile app. Bioverse is committed to serving these communities at whatever level of technological comfort they have achieved.

Impact and highlights

Helped 155 families from the Alto Trombetas River Basin to increase Brazil Nut harvesting, by locating 5 -18 times more trees than previously known.

Plans for expansion

Based on preliminary discussions, Peru or Colombia are likely to be the next areas to scale towards. They are also in discussion with a partnership team in Costa Rica.