We develop conservation technologies and monitoring strategies to protect our ecosystems, and to better balance between nature and economy.

The NatureVest program aims to better balance nature and economy by implementing technology to collect data and by translating that data into information that improves and accelerates decision making. Also, we assess options for organizational change to improve collaboration between industry, NGO and government. Part of that considers the (re)allocation of resources within those organizations and implementing programs focussed on quick wins.

Early warning system to prevent uncontrolled wildfires

The partnership

Frontier Ventures B.V. created a partnership with eLEAF B.V. and HydroLogic B.V. eLEAF B.V. is specialized in providing spatial information services based on satellite data. HydroLogic B.V. is specialized in advanced operational hydrological modelling and information services. The partners decided to join forces and developed an early warning system to prevent uncontrolled wildfires and to minimize the devastating impact on forests and wildlife.

The innovation

The early warning system is based on satellite data and groundwater modelling, and maps the water and energy balance of the area. Soil moisture content and vaporation rates of different types of vegetation are deducted from the raw data. Based on this and other data (on landcover, vegetation maps, weather data etc.) the system computes the risk of wildfires. The findings for high risk areas are then translated into a plan of action.

IP rights: The intellectual property of the product is shared equally among the partners.

The impact

The early warning system computes the risk of wildfires and guides action plans to prevent uncontrolled wildfires. Wildfires are increasing in frequency and intensity due to more frequent extreme heat and drought periods, even in The Netherlands! It is important to protect our forests and their ecosystem functionalities (CO2 uptake, water storage, providing habitat for wildlife etc.).

Innovative monitoring strategy to improve marine spatial planning

The innovation

We developed a proposal to better protect river dolphins in the Amazone against Mercury poisoning from small-scale mining activities and over-fishing. The proposal assessed, amongst others, the application of technologies such as high quality but low costs tagging devices or  pingers. We also developed a proposal to better protect porpoises in the North Sea. The number of porpoise strandings have unfortunately increased significantly over the last couple of years. It was proposed to apply new technology to better monitor their movements and measure the impact of industrial activities on their well-being.

The impact

The proposals seek to better assess the impact of (small or large scale) industrial activities on the well-being of dolphins and to inform spatial (riverine/ marine) planning processes and to better balance between economy and nature. Discussions were held with WWF experts in Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia, and with SOS Dolfijn and Rijkswaterstaat, the department within the Dutch government that is responsible for water management and infrastructure.

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