Artificial intelligence against deforestation
Identifying the link between specific commodities and areas at risk of deforestation, can be extremely complex. At Barry Callebaut, we require our suppliers, such as palm and soy suppliers, to identify the forest areas that need protecting, and those that can be developed for agriculture. However, conducting this type of assessment is difficult, time consuming and, often, a costly exercise.
We needed a solution to support our suppliers that was more efficient, less expensive, and had the ability to scale. Moreover, we knew that artificial intelligence was already being used for climate change strategies, such as for predicting droughts, cloud cover, and greenhouse gas emissions.
This new method combining deep learning and publicly available satellite imagery is a true breakthrough because it provides a highly automated, transparent, objective tool that generates indicative HCS maps at global scale with unprecedented accuracy.
Being carbon and forest positive is one of the key commitments of Forever Chocolate. These maps are the result of a 4-year collaboration with one of the leading research institutions combining artificial intelligence with remote sensing for ecosystem protection. By partnering together we have created an innovative and scalable solution that can be accessed by all.
We welcome this innovative new HCS indicative map by ETH Zurich and Barry Callebaut. Mapping the HCS forests in tropical forest regions globally is a first step towards protecting them from deforestation. HCSA is keen to build upon this work from Barry Callebaut and ETH to make high-quality HCS maps available for anyone to use to implement no deforestation, and in particular smallholder farmers.