Smart India Hackathon 2018

Ministry : Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Priority :
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Problem Statment(s) : 4

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 : hardware
Priority : high
Total Submissions : 11

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

Sector : Technology
Category : hardware
Priority : high
Total Submissions : 80

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

Sector : Technology
Category : hardware
Priority : high
Total Submissions : 88

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.

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