In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the XPrize Rainforest was launched in 2019, also aiming to ensure the right of children of today and the future to healthy environments, it is an international competition with an award of US$ 10 M.
The goal of the XPrize Rainforest is to accelerate the emergence of autonomous technologies aligned with traditional knowledge, needed to map the biodiversity of tropical forests. The use of rapid data integration will provide new knowledge and reveal the true potential of the standing forest. As well as accelerate the development of new, fair and sustainable bio economies.
Tropical forests cover about 7 percent of the Earth’s land surface*, home to approximately 50 million people. Although these forests represent 50% of the planet’s biodiversity, their size, density, and complexity mean that knowledge about the true value and potential of preserving their standing trees is limited.
Teams from all over the world were selected by a panel of independent, highly qualified judges. They are then responsible for developing new technologies for rapid and comprehensive mapping of tropical forest biodiversity. In order to accelerate the transition to a bio economy that sustains forests, rivers, and biodiversity with social justice and sustainability.
Announcement of semi-finalist teams
In June 2022, the independent jury of the XPrize Rainforest selected 15 teams from 10 countries to advance to the semifinal round of the competition. These high-quality, interdisciplinary teams will spend the next year developing and refining their innovative approaches. Then, in the second quarter of 2023, the semifinal trials will take place in Singapore. Teams will be required to demonstrate the capability and readiness of their technology in a rainforest environment. The teams will need to survey the greatest biodiversity in 100 hectares of rainforest in 24 hours. In addition, they will have to produce the most impactful real-time insights in 48 hours to win the competition.
Engagement with local and indigenous communities
Teams will be evaluated based on their involvement with indigenous and/or local communities within a rainforest or an academic institution in one or more countries that contain a rainforest. Involvement may include participation as a team member, team advisor, team collaborator, etc.
In 2020, the XPrize Rainforest announced its Advisory Board, a group of nine experienced and influential people in the environmental conservation arena. The advisory board members bring experience and background to support the award in its mission to discover, understand, and eventually preserve the future of tropical forests.
Stimulating the transition to more equitable and sustainable economies
New insights produced by scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals about forests inspire new forms of investment and innovation, thereby accelerating the transition to just and sustainable bio economies.