- Date: December 04, 2012
Efforts to fight wildlife crime received an important boost thanks to a new grant from Google. WWF will use the grant to adapt state-of-the-art technologies for the protection of endangered species like elephants, rhinos and tigers. These innovative new tools will give rangers in protected areas and local communities a welcome advantage against the ruthless and deadly gangs of criminals targeting wildlife.
Technology to fight poaching
WWF received a $5 million grant as part of Google’s new Global Impact Awards, which provides support to organizations using technology and innovative approaches to address some of the toughest human challenges.
The grant enables WWF to test advanced but easily-replicable technologies and create an overarching system to curb poaching—an important complement to the work WWF, partners and governments are already undertaking.
Remote aerial survey systems, wildlife tagging technology and ranger patrolling guided by analytical software like the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) will be integrated to increase the detection and deterrence of poaching in vulnerable sites in Asia and Africa. Our goal is to create an efficient, effective network that can be adopted globally.
Wildlife in crisis
Increasing demand for wildlife from wealthy consumers, especially in Asia, is fuelling a poaching crisis that is emptying the world’s forests and oceans. High profits and low risks have allowed wildlife crime to multiply into an illegal trade worth $7-10 billion annually.
And everyone pays the price.
Decades of conservation gains are jeopardized and fragile ecosystems are compromised. Nations are robbed of a vital natural resource and local livelihoods are affected. Law enforcement and justice is compromised and regional security is threatened.
The grant announcement comes during WWF and TRAFFIC’s campaign to elevate the global response to wildlife crime. Recent champions on the issue include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Under her leadership, the U.S. State Department is marking today as Wildlife Conservation Day and calling for people to pledge their support to respect and protect wildlife by stopping wildlife crime.