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World Earth Day – Role of Digital Technologies in Correcting Environmental Impact
Environmental impact, natural calamities and global warming are the biggest moot points today among policymakers and corporates worldwide. While Nature’s Fury is not fully in our hands, technology can be a future safeguard in terms of better response systems, mitigation strategies and correcting environmental impact. With World Earth Day around the corner on 22nd April 2022, now is the time for countries and authorities to adopt comprehensive digital technologies for managing environmental impact, and conditions and contribute towards futuristic, sustainable and sound policymaking.
Digital Technologies- How They Stack Up?
- Digital technologies may enable easier decision-making and response systems through their integration into environment-linked data.
- For instance, with New Delhi suffering from toxic air quality last winter, residents were able to track everything on the GEMS Air (Global Environment Monitoring System Air) site in real-time.
- GEMS Air is one of the numerous technologies deployed by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) for tracking environmental conditions at local, global and national levels.
- In the near future, integrated digital data platforms will help countries understand, track, manage and mitigate environmental hazards including growing air pollution and harmful emissions.
- Multiple public and private sector players are already tapping into digital technologies and data for scaling up environmental action plans.
- At a time when the world is battling pollution, loss of biodiversity and climate change, digital technologies are enabling transformational measures for safeguarding nature, lowering pollution and boosting overall sustainability.
- GEMS Air for instance is the biggest air pollution network worldwide, encompassing almost 5,000 cities. More than 50 million people accessed it in 2020 as per reports.
- It is now playing a crucial role in alerting citizens about risks with real-time updates.
How Other Digital Tools Are Contributing To Much-Needed Environmental Action?
- Big data and other technologies are helping generate timely and effective insights.
- For instance, farmers now have accurate data on weather and predictive modelling/forecasting applications. They can lower the usage of water, conserve natural resources and prepare for calamities.
- Applying digital technologies to environmental information is helping in better management and regulations. For instance, migrations of birds are hard to track and cover various regions. This is a major obstacle to conservation efforts in this space. Yet, forecasting models are now helping understand patterns and variances in migration. This knowledge is helping combat migration issues with better policies.
- Non-governmental change agents are also being mobilized through environmental insights and information, including corporates, communities and organisations.
- Some tools are already tapping data on emissions of methane already and offering analytics to companies for building future sustainability goals.
- Simultaneously, digital technologies are playing a role in enhancing overall accountability among all stakeholders, veering policy-making away from distractions towards hardcore and understandable analytics and environmental data.
- Minimizing environmental impact, identifying potential problems and finding solutions are processes made faster and easier through digital technologies.
- AI and big data analytics along with IoT, social platforms and mobile applications are contributing towards enhanced sustainability, lower resource usage and greater awareness.
- At a rudimentary level, these technologies are digitizing workplaces, production units and establishments, making them more environment-friendly and conserving more resources as a result.
- More corporates are depending on AI and IoT along with analytics for coming up with futuristic and more sustainable practices that lower carbon emissions and minimize wastage.
- Big data analytics is already at work in certifying products based on their environmental sustainability quotient.
- Blockchain may be used for greater sustainability in the future, scaling up lifecycles of products, maximizing usage of resources and lowering emissions, thereby greatly contributing to lowering environmental impact.
These are only a few of the multifarious use cases of digital technologies and their role in mitigating environmental impact. One aspect is crystal clear- A fusion of environmental understanding, policies and sustainability with digitization is mandatory. It is digital transformation that will enable countries to move towards lower resource wastage, higher conservation and more sustainable ecosystems. On World Earth Day, it is time to embrace the power of technology and use it for environmental good.
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