Reflections on Earth Day 2021: The Difference Technology Can Make

ByJoy Tan

April 23, 2021

Joy Tan

“Can’t see the forest for the trees” is a popular idiom that reminds us how important it is to step back and get a better perspective on a situation. Whenever I hear that saying, I think back to the time I climbed up a redwood tree in California with Topher White, founder and CEO of non-profit organization Rainforest Connection, to help him install a “Rainforest Guardian.”

Topher & I installing a Rainforest Guardian

I was completely out of my element, hanging high in the air with a spectacular view of the wilderness all around me. I could see the tops of all the trees – and they were tall – which brought home to me the scale and majesty of the ecosystems that humanity is at risk of losing.

This system Topher and I installed, which leverages an acoustic monitoring device in addition to Huawei Cloud and ModelArts, is being used in rainforests around the world to help prevent illegal logging and protect endangered series like the spider monkey. Looking around after we had installed it, I felt an incredible sense of pride about how Huawei’s technology is helping support vital environmental conservation efforts. As I reflect on that experience this Earth Day, my conviction has only grown stronger that we have to remember the bigger picture in our day-to-day lives: how to use technology for good, making people’s lives better, and protecting the environment for generations to come.

Technology is also helping to increase energy efficiency and minimize excess power consumption across industries, in turn cutting the carbon emissions that hurt the environment. One example is how Huawei has developed innovative solar products that use AI to make solar installations even more efficient and generate more clean energy. Additionally, our Intelligent Campus Energy Management Solution is helping companies, including Huawei’s own campus, to significantly reduce energy usage.

Technology advancements have also significantly improved the quality of life for people around the world. Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative aims to ensure that no one gets left behind in the digital world and to use technology to conserve nature.

The four domains of TECH4ALL

TECH4ALL’s programs are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to solve a wide variety of issues, from tackling climate change to improving education and healthcare. One exciting education initiative is the DigiTruck mobile digital classroom that we built with our partners. The DigiTruck provides training for digital skills in remote regions in Kenya, and has already benefited 1,686 people in 11 counties with 28,742 hours of training.

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Another priority area for TECH4ALL is providing accessible medical services so that health issues can be prevented or treated. As part of that intuitive, Huawei is helping hospitals to take advantage of technology to improve patient care. In China, Huawei helped carriers quickly deploy 5G networks in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, and we’re continuing to collaborate with these carriers to find new uses of 5G in medical environments. What is especially exciting is how the implementation of 5G and the rollout of next-gen networks has opened up new possibilities in rural communities where medical services are less readily available, providing an efficient and reliable way to make telemedicine accessible.

In New Zealand, the TECH4ALL MaiHealth project uses a converted shipping container called MAiPOD as mobile clinics to reach underserved communities affected by a chronic shortage of healthcare centers and staff.

Dr. Lance O’Sullivan & Cleo Greaves treating patients under the MaiHealth initiative

From protecting the rainforest from deforestation to providing digital skills training in rural communities to making healthcare available to all, we are committed to using technology to make a difference all over the world and connect the unconnected.

As you celebrate Earth Day, I urge everyone to remember: we are all in this together.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Joy Tan

President of Global Media and Communications, Huawei

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