Protecting Malaysia’s Sarawak Rainforest with Technology


January 6, 2023


In this guest post, our partner Rainforest Connection gives an overview of the TECH4ALL project in Malaysia to protect biodiversity in Malaysia’s Sarawak Rainforest by preventing illegal logging.

Rainforest Connection authors

Project scope

The Malaysia project currently has 874,256 recordings from 7 sites uploaded to Arbimon. The combination of manual validation and pattern
matching models has detected 79 species:

  • 74 birds
  • 3 monkeys
  • 1 Black giant squirrel
  • 1 frog

Twenty-eight of those species are on a threatened category in the IUCN
Red List

Since the creation of the CNN, many interesting species have been identified in the dataset collected in the Huawei Malaysia project site.

Project Significance and Description

At the Similajau National Park in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, RFCx works with the Sarawak Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, and Huawei to enable the Sarawak government to protect its rainforests. Covering over 60% of the state, these forests are rich in biodiversity and represent a sustainable source of medicine, food, and livelihood for many

The project leverages the power of IoT and Huawei’s cloud AI to detect and monitor sounds of illegal logging, and halt illegal activities in real-time. The acoustic data of the rainforest provides partners and researchers on-the-ground with biodiversity data that allows for better, more specific protection and conservation efforts in Sarawak.

The Guardians for the project were installed completely by the local team in Sarawak, making it RFCx’s first totally remote installation project.

Animal species are highly varied in this area and include:

  • 185 species of mammals
  • 530 species of birds
  • 166 species of snakes
  • 104 species of lizards
  • 113 species of amphibians

Of these, 19 percent of the mammals, 6 percent of the birds, 20 percent of the snakes and 32 percent of the lizard species are endemic. These include the Bornean Grey Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), the Borneo Bay Cat (Catopuma badia), the Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil), the Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis) and the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica).

Project partners

Sarawak Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Sarawak Media Authority, and Huawei Malaysia

A few of the species that have been monitored

Photo credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

Click the link for sound samples of the Red-throated Barbet on Arbimon.

Photo credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

Click the link for sound samples of the Black Hornbill on Arbimon.

Photo credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

Click the link for sound samples of the Bold-striped tit-babbler.

And click the following links to find out more about the work of Rainforest Connection and to learn more about the Malaysia TECH4ALL project.

Further reading

Read more about the projects in which Rainforest Connection is partnership with Huawei and other local partners to protect threatened ecosystems under the Huawei TECH4ALL initiative.

Rainforests and forests [Primary objective]

Forest, Wetlands & Oceans [Primary objective]

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.

One thought on “Protecting Malaysia’s Sarawak Rainforest with Technology

  1. very nice information. Is really Malaysia also rich place with respect to animals as like Africa. because since from our childhood listening stories about animals belonging to Africa. but some how the approach is full of humanity. we need to protect the animals around us. they also have right to live freely. moreover I want to add that zoo and circus culture should be abolish as that is not gentle treatment with animals. Its like we humans are enjoy the badly treatment with animals. They are the beauty of the nature. just imagine without birds, animals what it look like. So keep going with our best wishes.

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