- Today Mongabay, Resolve, and World Resources Institute (WRI) announced the launch of wildtech.mongabay.com.
- Wildtech will serve as a platform for exploring the use of technology in conservation.
- The site aims to foster collaboration and partnerships between conservationists and the tech community.
Many of the same technologies we use every day may also be key to protecting our planet’s natural heritage. Mobile phones that record and send our selfie video can do the same with chainsaw or gunshot sounds. Invisible fences that keep our dog in the yard might help keep a lion or leopard out of a farmer’s sheep corral.
As the possibilities for technology grow on an exponential scale, it is time for the conservation and management community to harness these advances for the protection of our remaining wild places.
Mongabay, together with World Resources Institute (WRI) and RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions (BWS) program, is pleased to announce the launch of wildtech.mongabay.com, a new online hub to spark and share innovative, technology-driven solutions to address the alarming decline of Earth’s biodiversity.
As readers of Mongabay know, biodiversity – the variety of life on Earth – is under increasing threat from a rapidly expanding human footprint. Deforestation, habitat fragmentation, unsustainable harvesting of natural resources, illegal logging and hunting, wildlife trafficking, and human-wildlife conflict are wiping out wildlife populations and natural places worldwide. Maintaining the natural diversity of an ecosystem provides services ranging from pollination to food to medicines and ensures the system’s health and its ability to survive disturbance, but threats are pervasive. Can technology offer solutions to these challenges?
Preliminary results from an ongoing global survey conducted by RESOLVE show that 100% of leading wildlife biologists and front-line conservationists polled are seeking improvements in their technological capability. Ninety-five percent of researchers indicated that even minor advances in current technologies would significantly improve their adoption and utility in the field.
Resource managers and conservationists on the ground are eager to improve their capabilities, and tech developers and engineers seek opportunities to apply their innovative skills and products. Infrequent communication, steep learning curves, and high development costs, however, lead to a slow uptake of rapidly evolving technology in the field. The new wildtech.mongabay.com site intends to help close these gaps and accelerate the flow of information between these groups and allow users to express their challenges to developers who possess the capacity to respond with potential solutions.
The new site will feature articles on current, emerging, and future technologies relevant to conserving and managing wildlife and wild places, product reviews by users in the field, and interviews with leading experts. Active forum spaces will be available for readers with mutual interests to comment, brainstorm, ask questions, and establish collaborations to design, develop, and improve upon innovative technologies for forest and wildlife protection. These features will be integrated with regular technology gatherings sponsored by the site.
We hope to create a dynamic and informed online community where stories can be shared about successes, failures, and areas of great potential—a place where conservationists and technologists can interact and learn about each other’s needs, skills, and products. These dialogues can catalyze rapid field-testing and adaptation of technologies, bringing the most promising solutions to scale.
By launching this platform as a collaborative effort between Mongabay.com, WRI, and BWS, we will combine the perspective and resources of a global research organization, the scientific knowledge, field experience, and enthusiasm of a team of conservation biologists, and the online reach, credibility, and capability of Mongabay to create a hub of relevant information that will aid future conservation efforts globally.
To succeed, we also need your help. We invite you to engage in our effort to improve the status of global biodiversity by joining in this new initiative. Wildtech.mongabay.com will give you the opportunity to be an active member of a worldwide network of tech innovators and conservationists.