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6 Examples of Artificial Intelligence Projects for Climate Justice in Kenya

By Wayan Vota on May 2, 2023

Artificial Intelligence Climate Justice Kenya

Artificial intelligence solutions hold significant potential for addressing climate justice in Africa. Startup companies are increasingly utilizing AI across the continent to combat climate change, enhance climate mitigation, and promote sustainability.

In Kenya,  communities must adapt to climate change. The agriculture sector is 20 percent of  GDP and employs over 40 percent of the total population – more than 70 percent of rural people. Climate change is having a significant impact on these livelihoods. AI is being explored to forecast food insecurity, increase food production, and manage pests.

5 Benefits of AI for Climate Justice

Current artificial intelligence applications for climate mitigation and adaptation decision-making has several benefits when implemented with transparency and interoperability:

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: AI can automate data processing and employ machine learning algorithms to provide better insights into climate challenges, thereby informing better decision-making.
  • Predictive Capabilities: AI can model natural systems and predict how systems adapt to changes, which can be particularly useful in managing climate impacts.
  • Innovation and Creativity: AI can catalyze new solutions for sustainability not obvious to human reviewers or general numeric analysis.
  • Advanced Modeling: AI can help improve and expand current understanding of climate change models, delivering greener, more sustainable, and effective solutions.
  • Democratizing Decisions: AI can be used by all stakeholders to collectively addressing a wide array of challenges associated with climate change.

To maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of using AI for climate justice, robust risk management, governance, and ethical considerations are needed. This includes improving explainability mechanisms, detecting undesired biases, understanding the potential environmental impact, and putting in place effective safeguards against misuse.

6 AI Climate Justice Examples in Kenya

Artificial intelligence solutions can help address climate justice, with countries like Kenya at the forefront of this technological revolution. Here are six examples of how Kenyans are leveraging machine learning algorithms to combat climate change and promote sustainability:

AI Tools for Kenyan Reforestation and Forest Sustainability

  • The Kenyan government is utilizing geospatial artificial intelligence in support of the National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign. This initiative is starts by using AI to identify and conserve natural water towers, which are forested landscapes that retain water and are crucial for the nation’s water resources.
  • The AstraZeneca’s AZ Forest Kenya project is using AI to analyze and monitor tree growth and reducing deforestation. AI monitoring and managing will provide unique insights that work with local communities to create a circular bioeconomy – local economic benefits that address climate change.

AI Solutions for Climate Smart Agriculture in Kenya

  • Kuzi is an artificial intelligence solution that uses satellite data, soil sensor data, ground meteorological observation, and machine learning to predict swarms of desert locusts. It displays a heat map of high-risk areas in Kenya 2-3 months in advance of the event. Farmers can receive SMS alerts when locusts are highly likely to attack farms in their areas, including plants for livestock.
  • Amini AI is building the single source of truth for verifiable, immutable, and actionable environmental data leveraging satellites, existing data sources, and machine learning. It can deliver meaningful insights to farmers and supply chain operators to drive climate resilience planning and agricultural insurance risk assessments, and serves as a starting point for Africa’s transition to climate-smart agriculture.

AI Research Projects to Improve Kenya’s Climate Adaptation

  • AI4D Africa study will analyze climatic trends and develop predictive artificial intelligence models for climate change effects across Kenya, particularly focusing on terrestrial plant diversity and conservation to assess the impacts of climate change on both the environment and the livelihoods of pastoral communities. The project will include county-specific climate change laws and policies furthering Kenya’s commitment to climate action.
  • Flood Forecasting Initiative enables Kenyan communities to use AI to predict flooding, develop early warning systems and better prepare for and enact potential evacuation. AI models to predict when and where riverine floods will occur up to seven days in advance, with detailed inundation maps — showing different water levels predicted in different areas — so people know what to expect where they live.

These examples from Kenya demonstrate the transformative potential of AI in addressing climate justice. By harnessing this technology, Kenyans are making strides towards a more sustainable and resilient future in the face of climate change.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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