Smart Communications Inc. and Ericsson have launched the Connected Mangroves project to help conserve the marine ecosystem of the Bangkung Malapad - a critical habitat and ecotourism area in the Philippines.

Ericsson’s Connected Mangroves project, combines cloud, machine-to-machine and mobile broadband to help the local community in Selangor, Malaysia, to better manage the growth of new mangrove saplings.

Smart is the exclusive mobile network partner to Ericsson for project, the first of its kind to be implemented in the Philippines. This IoT solution uses wireless connectivity to capture data relevant to mangroves’ survival such as water level, humidity, soil moisture and temperature, and other hazards in the environment.

The information, which is collected by waterproof solar-powered sensors attached to mangroves, will be transmitted over a cloud system to a dashboard accessible to concerned stakeholders, such as local authorities, fisherfolk and communities within the area.

Mangrove forests are important in the protection of seaside communities from typhoons, flooding, erosion and other coastal hazards, and serve as habitat for various aquatic life forms. Scientists, however, say that in the last five decades, an estimated 50 percent of the world’s mangroves has disappeared, and every year another one percent is lost, based on information by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read the full announcement from Smart, here