Supporting a Healthier Environment

Innovating for the Forests: Charting a New Course against Deforestation

HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al Saud
Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies

As we mark the International Day of Forests, let us recognize the silent guards that are our planet's forests. These supports of biodiversity and natural heritage are hovering on the edge, facing threats from human encroachment and climate instability.

The Imperative for Conservation

Deforestation is a relentless force, eroding our forests. This destruction is not just about losing trees—it is about the breakdown of ecosystems, the silencing of countless species, and the destruction of crucial carbon reservoirs. The effects are felt worldwide, influencing climate, water resources, and the air we rely on. The United Nations has identified deforestation as the source of up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually, underscoring the need for prompt action.

The United Nations has identified deforestation as the source of up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.

In 2022, deforestation rates increased by 4%, setting us back 21% from the 2030 target to cease deforestation. The Amazon, the heart of our planet, is being depleted at an alarming rate. The Congo Basin, with its distinctive wildlife, is under constant threat. Southeast Asia's forests are rapidly diminishing, with the Tropical Forest Alliance reporting a loss of approximately 1.5 million hectares in just one year.

In these critical times, Alwaleed Philanthropies created an innovative initiative to utilize technological advancements to counteract deforestation. Atlai is an AI-powered platform providing monitoring and reporting on deforestation around the world. Pioneered by Alwaleed Philanthropies, Atlai harnesses the power of AI to unlock the potential of collective action through accessible climate data. As part of AP’s commitment to supporting a healthier environment, Atlai empowers the global community working to combat deforestation through the provision of accessible, actionable data.

Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, Atlai makes climate data accessible, enabling environmentalists, policymakers, and local communities to take informed action.

Access to accurate and timely data is paramount in the fight against deforestation. Atlai serves as an electronic guard, providing a comprehensive view of the forests' health and the challenges they face. By compiling satellite imagery, ground reports, and advanced algorithms, Atlai identifies critical areas of deforestation then generate reports, social media posts or facts about the deforestation activity. In addition to creating a country profile and provide data for the last 20 years. This data is not just informative—it's transformative. It empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions, leading to targeted conservation efforts, holding governments and corporations accountable, and fostering a global community of forest guardians.

Atlai hopes to open the door for more collective approaches where inclusive and accessible platforms can help accelerate the solutions to the climate transition.

This International Forest Day, let's rally around Atlai. Spreading awareness, supporting growing initiatives, and advocating for policy changes can amplify Atlai's impact. Alwaleed Philanthropies' commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship calls upon us to act. Together, we can reverse deforestation, restore lost ecosystems, and protect our forests for the future.