Microsoft today announced that the company would be providing The Nature Conservancy with an Azure services grant. This grant is part of Microsoft's focus on its nonprofit partners and a commitment to bringing cloud computing resources to nonprofit organizations around the world.
With the Azure services grant, Microsoft hopes that The Nature Conservancy Organization can "do even more to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends." The grant will be distributed over the next three years and will allow The Nature Conservancy to expand its Natural Solutions Toolkit to inform real-time, science-based decision-making at the local level. Microsoft details what the grant means for The Nature Conservancy.
This will make it easier for communities everywhere to build coastal resilience strategies, fight pollution and provide clean water for people around the world. The Toolkit is the Conservancy’s largest suite of geospatial tools and web apps for climate adaptation and resilience planning across land and sea environments.
The Nature Conservancy describes Costal Resilience as a program which "examines nature’s role in reducing coastal flood risk." The program also "consists of an approach, a web mapping tool, and a network of practitioners around the world supporting hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning." Here is how Azure will be used in Costal Resilience projects.
As part of the new Microsoft grant, these tools and this learning will be expanded and applied to new types of projects, including a pilot project already underway right here in Washington state. The Nature Conservancy will migrate specific programs and projects within the Natural Solutions Toolkit, including Coastal Resilience in Washington, to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and expand it to include:
- Historic, real-time, and climate projection analysis and data processing across social-ecological system
- Decision support tool and app design, usability testing, and effective use analytics
- Business opportunities that address local and global environmental challenges and nature-based solutions
The grant builds on the long-standing collaboration between Microsoft and The Nature Conservancy and comes after the company detailed its plans for Earth Week. You can learn more about The Nature Conservancy projects and the latest grants by visiting the Microsoft Green Blog.