Smart India Hackathon 2018

Ministry : Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
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Problem Statment(s) : 9

The Problem: Monitoring and assessing the population of nocturnal birds (for example: owls) is a big challenge for the researchers due to their nocturnal nature and the presence of wild animals (for example: elephants and bear) in the tropical forests like the Western Ghats. The available recorders in the market records all the sound that is being produced around the recorder and it is usually dominated by insects and that might affect the data quality. Hence, we need an automatic instrument that could record only tailor-made frequency and amplitude of sounds by excluding other noises. Furthermore, their vocalization frequency is strongly influenced by the local weather conditions such as atmospheric temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, noise level and moon status. Thus, the instrument should record and store sounds and weather parameters. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Automatic sound recording systems, spectrogram, nocturnal birds, voice and calls of birds Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. The recorder should identify and capture only the frequency and amplitude range that matches with the target species’ range and should store data with all relevant weather information for each sequences. The instrument can’t be kept operational throughout the night as it consumes lot of energy and storage. The instrument may activate recording upon hearing the specified range of sounds. Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data. Forest managers, biodiversity scientists, researchers involved in study and conservation of nocturnal birds Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered Not Applicable. Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired. Hardware solution. Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed The instrument if developed will help the researchers to monitor the population of nocturnal birds and bats (can be modified) in the elephant areas. This will also help the researchers to take up large-scale surveys on nocturnal birds with limited funding and man-power. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem The number of users may be low but it is an important contribution to the concerned group of researchers. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. None

The Problem: Poaching is a major problem for wildlife managers across the world. The increasing demand for wildlife meat, fur, skin and organs increases the poaching across the globe. India supports a great majority of biodiversity. Protection and conservation of this biological wealth is a challenging task for many wildlife managers. Shortage of human resources esp. the field staff and scarce availability of logistics and resources make wildlife preservation a daunting task. Hence we seek to develop a user friendly application for wildlife managers and field level staffs to record and communicate the field level information during patrolling and surveillance movemnts in the forest. The wildlife sightings, deaths, wild life crime and ecological observations, human presence can be recorded with GPS coordinates while patrolling. The patrol routes of forest guards can be recorded using the mobile application. Producing a map after each patrol will help to understand the overall picture of the day’s work. A timely consolidation of these maps will help to get an overall idea of the animal movements and human activities in the protected area and hence the managers can develop strategic plans for reducing the poaching. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Wildlife movement, Poaching, Conservation, protected area Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. Developing a mobile application for collecting the data from the field and online reporting during the patrolling has to be made. The maps and trekking routes can be linked with google maps for better understanding about the landscape. Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Forest department, wildlife managers, wildlife researchers Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered NA Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired Mobile App, Web application Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed Monitoring the animal movements and intensity of human activities can be recorded and managed on a real time basis. This will make the information of the intensity of chances all activities including poaching in a forest. Hence the wildlife managers can take precaution for reducing the managing the activities and controlling poaching in those prioritized area. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem The software will be useful for all the protected areas across the country . Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. None

The Problem: The settlements and farmlands in hill areas are more prone to wildlife conflicts. Elephant crop raiding is very common in most of these places. An average of 300 human mortality by elephants are reported annually from India. The shrinking habitats, increasing human invasion in the forest areas and increase in population size of elephants leadsto resource scarcity. Elephants are attracted to agricultural crops due to their higher nutritional value. However, the types of crops grown, the season of ripening, location of agricultural fields and migration patterns, all contribute to the intensity of crop raiding. The increasing trend in human elephant conflict shows that we fail to manage this issue. In this scenario implementing a software which can give an awareness or warning to the local people about the movement of elephants in forest fringing areas by detecting the infrasound communication of elephants using acoustic sensors can be a best way to reduce the human elephant conflict. Here we seek a digital solution made for a hypothetical forest fringing area which can be customized to various location for implementation. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Acoustic monitoring of elephant movements, Human elephant conflict, warning and awareness system. Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. Infrasound detecting sensors have to be developed. Distance calculating digital protocol. Evaluation of threat and warning system A mobile application for receiving the details of elephant movements. Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Forest department, Farmers/ citizens, wildlife researchers, biodiversity scientists Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered NA Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired Mobile App, Web application Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed Human elephant conflict can be reduced and life of people can be saved can help in reducing crop raiding by elephants. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem Human elephant conflict is increasing near all forest areas with elephants, hence it has implications to the life and living of a very wide range of people in villages in India. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. None

Sector : Technology
Category : software
Priority : high

Problem: Drought or scarcity of water for the wild animals during summer is one of the major management issues in the forests of the Country. In spite of two seasons of monsoons in the Country, most of the streams and rivers in the forest areas will become dry by January – February posing severe threat to the animals as well as vegetation made vulnerable to forest fire. It would be appreciated if a digital tool is developed to predict the water scarcity in an area, sometimes as small as size of a range of 1000 ha, with the help of available physiographical data and local weather information. Local weather information such as rainfall, number of rainy days, average rainfall per day, average minimum and maximum temperature, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and physiographical data such as aspect, type of vegetation, percentage canopy, soil type, etc. can be included Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking: Drought, humidity, canopy cover, solar radiation, water scarcity, soil type, aspect Sub problems which needs to be resolved or form key part of the challenges Development of simple model to predict the drought or water scarcity in a locality based on sample data on various parameters mentioned above Managing parameters such as Water holding capacity of the soil Evapotranspiration under different situations (varying canopy cover, temperature, and duration of solar radiation, etc) Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data State Forests and Wildlife Departments Any record keeping data base/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered Local weather data available with the forest management Google image of the landcover/any other landcover map for the area Any other information available on natural resources of the area Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired. A combination of responsive web and mobile applications Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed Efficient mobile based application for tackling the drought situation on account of animal welfare. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem Almost entire forest ranges of the country provided there is secondary data available at the desired scale. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. Customized digital solutions for predicting drought at local scale is not available.

The Problem: Wetlands serve as source of water for majority population in our country. The culture of wetland management has been inherent throughout centuries past until recently. India harbours many Ramsar sites – wetlands of international importance, and at the same time, innumerous small wetlands, temporary and permanent are neglected. These are widely encroached upon by land filling and other methods which have blocked the natural draining system of a town/city. After understanding the importance of wetlands in ground water replenishment and harbouring biodiversity, recently, orders from the higher judiciary have been passed to monitor and conserve smaller local wetlands. For effective conservation of these wetlands, a biodiversity database over time along with the status of the wetland throughout the year needs to be monitored and then adaptive management plans need to be made. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Wetlands, Ramsar sites, marshes, bhogs, jheels, databases, digital management plans, Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. Wetland area/ water quality and biodiversity databases to be developed in real time and integrated with a data management system Simple statistical analysis of these databases for effective management plans. An enquiry based information dissemination system. Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Panchayat and Corporation officers, Scientists, Town planners, Forest department Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered All available wetland data from the websites of Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Envis Centre at SACON, Bombay Natural History Society can be considered Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired. Web application, responsive web Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed The regularly updated information availability for conservation and management intervention. This will save a lot of time in bringing in effective management plans for wetlands. In turn will save costs of assessing wetlands prior to each step in managing them. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem There are around 55,000 natural wetlands in the country that are documented. It is believed that many more smaller wetlands may not have been documented. The management plans derived from the digital solution will prove useful in protecting and using natural wetlands sustainably. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. None

The Problem: Road kill is a major threat to wildlife. From elephants to the smallest reptiles, snakes, and frogs, irrespective of animal size no species is spared on the oads that pass through forests. These cases are much more frequent along highways as most vehicles travel at great speed (≥ 80 km/hr). Despite the advance in vehicular technology there hasn’t yet been a safety solution to this problem. There are no safety measures that enable vehicles to detect the approaching wildlife species along the road. Here we seek the development of a smart and highly sensitive detection system in built in vehicles to prevent unnecessary wildlife-vehicle collisions. The most challenging part of the system is for the device to detect not just large sized mammals (≥ 50 kgs) but to also detect extremely small sized species weighing barely a few grams (< 500 gms). The solution should involve a detector that can detect small and large wildlife species on the road which sends a warning to the vehicle to slow down. In addition the speed detection and warning systems should be placed every 1 km along road sides to record the speed, time, date, and photos of incoming vehicles. This device should be interfaced at various forest checkposts and range offices to allow immediate action taken against overspeeding vehicles that are responsible for the road kill. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Speed detectors, speed warning system, vehicle-wildlife collision, and animal body size detection Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. Development of sensors to identify an animal on the road Sensors to calculate the vehicle speed and give warning to appropriate centre. The technology should identify the vehicle that has caused the road kill. Overall project implementing design Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Forest department, Police Department, Wildlife scientists, Conservationists Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered NA Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired. A combination of web and mobile application mediated through sensor technology Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed Improved safety system to reduce vehicle-wildlife collisions and mortality rates of wildlife along roads. Wildlife mortality data along roads can be maintained by forest department. This can be accessed by scientists for sound policy decision framing. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem Around more than 70 protected forest regions across India can implement this and apply the safety solutions to reduce wildlife mortality along roads. The State and central ministries dealing with forests, wildlife and environment can effectively use the data. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. None

The Problem: Dramatic increases in human-large mammal conflict in recent years results from an exponential increase in human populations. Ever expanding human pressure in India has caused a decline in many large mammalian species through the loss of habitat for agriculture, livestock grazing, tourism and other developmental activities, poaching for trade and traditional medicine, declining prey populations and conflicts with humans primarily provoked by predation on livestock and crop raiding. Persecution by humans based on real or perceived threats to livestock, death/injuries of human being and crop raiding, appears to be the most important factor in the observed declines in many of the large mammals, and human-large mammal conflict is likely to increase. As a result of livelihood loss, poisoning of cattle killed by large carnivores and retaliatory killing of large herbivores for crop raiding is found to be one of the major threats to large mammal populations. Particularly Protected Areas (PAs) in India are the last refuge for many large mammals however they are sensitive to the effect of habitat degradation outside PAs, being particularly susceptible to species extinction. India’s few existing reserves may not be sufficient enough to maintain viable populations of wide-ranging mammals, although large mammal conservation is mainly dependant on management of surrounding core habitats of PAs, wherein successful conservation resolves human-large mammal conflicts and poaching pressures. The successful human-wildlife management practical action needs park managers and local communities must take coordinated communication to reduce the frequency of conflicts and poaching. For this we seek a digital solution through video based sensor technology for regular monitoring of conflict prone areas. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Crop raiding Human Wildlife Conflict Livelihood Loss Threats to Wildlife Poaching Protected Areas, Video Based Sensor Technology Wildlife Management Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. Identify and monitor areas prone to conflict and poaching around core habitat of Protected Areas. Improve the efficiency of or even optimize anti-poaching patrols in Protected Areas based on assessments of mortality/conflict patterns. Alerting movement/arrival and exit of conflict prone wild animals to concerned stakeholders Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Forest Department, Protected Area Managers, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and local communities living inside and just outside on the fringe areas of Protected Area. Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered Databases to be maintained related to locations of occurrence of poaching, crop raiding, human mortality/injury, conflict prone animals arrival and exit in conflict prone areas Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired. A combination of video based sensor, mobile applications based alerting system and web pages can be attempted. Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed Such development of sensor technologies which can alert the Park Managers about conflict prone animals arrival and exit in conflict prone areas to avoid substantial livelihood loss/damages and poaching pressure on wild animals to curbing illegal activities and reducing human-wildlife conflicts which are critical to guiding park management. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem This kind of technological solutions are needed for all Protected Areas throughout India Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. The proposed video based sensor technological solution has not been available in the field which are crucial for Protected Areas Management

The Problem: Tourism is a fast-growing industry in our country. Every year more and more people travel and the number of tourists visiting every tourist area is increasing. In the present world marked by a high degree of stress related to urbanization, people are getting attracted more to natural areas such as National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Tiger Reserves and so on. There should be a well-informed preparedness for handling the increasing tourist flow in these Protected Areas (PAs) and natural tourist spots. All type of tourisms such as religious tourism, ecotourism, beach tourism and health tourism will affect immediate environment and biodiversity associated with it in varying degrees. Information on the tourism expansion and its effect should be quantified in real time and the management strategies should be adaptively modified for avoiding negative effect of the tourist movements to the local biodiversity and wildlife. We seek the development of a model digital solution including plan, digital products for information management, analysis and decision support system in a selected tourist area or Protected Area. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Biodiversity, Wildlife, Carrying capacity, Ecotourism, Protected Areas Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge. Assessment of tourist flow, growth and trends . Documentation of wildlife and biodiversity of the area. Analysis of carrying capacity of tourism in the project area. Development of software solution to manage the information flow and return feedback with managerial intervention. Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Tourism department and managers of tourism industry. Forest department and managers of protected areas. Travel and Transport managers, managers of resorts and hospitality industry Local communities and other stakeholders including the local administration. Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that needs to be considered, Tourist information registry of the location /protected area. Biodiversity and wildlife database of the area in target. Any other natural resource registry in the government offices, water flow of the river and rainfall details of the area. Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired. A combination of responsive web and mobile applications for different modules can be attempted. Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed Efficient tourist information management system can be developed. Availability of all necessary information for managers so that informed decisions can be made during critical problems. Better facilities and customer satisfaction for tourists. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem About 500 protected areas in the country and thousands of tourists’ destinations of varying importance can use this. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. Customized digital solutions for analysing the effect on biodiversity and environment are not available. Reasons for non availability are the lack of awareness and attitude.

Sector : Technology
Category : hardware
Priority : high

India has over 75 million hectares of forests that cover about 23% of the country’s geographic area. Forests are protected in the country under various laws for their ecosystem services that include their biodiversity wealth, maintenance of soil nutrients, sustenance of freshwater security, provision of livelihood for forest-dwelling communities, and various forest products that are commercially valuable. Forests also serve as the single largest sink for carbon as forest plants absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and store carbon. For this reason, forests are now considered to be the most potent means to combat global warming. Ironically, the same forests, when they are under fire, pose the gravest threat as they release large volumes of carbon dioxide forest fires are now recognized as the biggest contributor to build-up of atmospheric carbon, leading to global warming and climate change. But early detection of forest fires is a major challenge for forest managers owing to multiple factors like inaccessibility, topography, inclement weather, shortage of frontline staff to man the entire forest tracts, etc. By the time the forest management takes notice of a forest fire, it usually is too late to act and the fire would have spread over hundreds of hectares. Here, we seek a cost-effective, automatic, and real-time remote-surveillance digital solution for early detection of forest fire and prediction of its course based on multiple covariates (like wind speed & direction, rainfall, forest type, proximity to fire-breaks, aspect and slope, etc) that would be measured / calibrated on the ground by employing sensor-based data capture contraptions. Associated Terminology that needs capture or tracking or smart linking Forest fire, carbon stock, weather parameters, forest vegetation, remote-surveillance Sub problems, which need to be resolved, or form key part of the challenge: Forest cover / density estimation Forest type Weather data Seasonality of forest fires Establishing mobile communication network from remote forests to control room Users who are facing the challenge/sub-problem could use data Forest department and forest managers Forest scientists and researchers Forest-dwelling local/tribal communities Any record keeping databases/ legacy systems or integrations that need to be considered Forest Survey of India digital maps of forests of India from 1:25,000 to 1:250,000 scale Survey of India digital toposheets from 1:25,000 to 1:250,000 scale Remote-sensing imageries of forest fires accessed from NRSA to compute seasonality Forest Working Plans / Management Plans for past history of fire Required channel – mobile app, responsive web, web application, desired: Ideally, mobile SMS based alert system may be developed for early detection of forest fire. This can be routed through a central database & command structure. Desired outcome if the challenge is addressed. Early detection of forest fire would save us billions of rupees every year as we would prevent carbon build-up in the atmosphere and subsequent impacts of climate change on food production, human health, and environmental degradation. Though we do not have any assessment made in India, it has been estimated in the US that forest fires cost over 320 million dollars every year. It has also been predicted that the cost of fire would increase exponentially to over 2 billion dollars by the year 2025. The cost is expected to be even more severe in India, with its large tracts of tropical deciduous forests and grasslands that are most vulnerable to forest fire. Details pertaining to the scale of the problem The forest fire is a chronic and major problem in over 75 million hectares of forests of the country (covering about 23% of India’s geographic area). And the carbon stock of Indian forests has been estimated to be around 6500 metric tonnes in 2014 as per FSI report. As a key player of REDD Plus (Reducing Emission through Deforestation and Forest Degradation) protocol, India has a major role in developing forest fire management tools and systems. Shelf solutions or legacy solutions partially / fully addresses the challenges. Current system of fire detection on the ground involves extensive patrolling, which becomes ineffective as we have too few frontline staff to man the entire forests. Even if the forest fire is detected early by the field staff, communication lag is too long to receive any assistance or command from higher authorities before the fire becomes uncontrollable. Though remote-sensing technology is increasingly used in fire management, it does not detect small-scale fire and does not incorporate any efficient customized predictive model.