Phoenix (PRWEB) October 11, 2012
A SMART and powerful tool to combat wildlife crime has been unveiled at the IUCN World Conservation Congress according to Jean-Christophe Vié, Director of Save Our Species (SOS).
SMART, the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool is a high-tech tool created to help park and community rangers combat an increasingly sophisticated syndicate of poachers devastating wildlife populations worldwide according to Vie.
"All members of the SOS partnership, along with other donors, decided unanimously to fund this effort,” said Jean-Christophe Vié, Director of SOS.
Vie said the decision was unanimous for two reasons, “First a consortium of the largest conservation organizations are behind it and, second, given that poachers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques, we absolutely need to provide the best possible tools and use the latest technology to those people fighting every day to preserve wildlife around the world. We call on other donors to join us in supporting SMART, and countries and conservation groups to adopt it."
There is already strong support for SMART from some of the most respected conservation organizations in the world such as the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
"This new system will ensure rangers in the field have the best training and most sophisticated tools they need to patrol wild places threatened by well-armed and well-funded criminals illegally killing off wildlife across the globe," said Dr. David Wilkie, Director of Conservation Support for the Wildlife Conservation Society. "We need to provide our rangers with the smartest technology to effectively stop the high level of poaching now killing off tigers, elephants, gorillas, rhinoceros, turtles and other endangered species."
Representative from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) agree.
"SMART is a tool that has tremendous potential to tackle wildlife crime, and while we are excited about this potential, we recognize that the right people—rangers, local law enforcement and governments—need to be in the driving seat,” said Dr. Barney Long, manager of Asian species conservation at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “The success of SMART depends on support from grassroots to the global community and WWF stands ready to help."
Some of the specific functions of SMART include: provides timely and accurate information on where, how and by whom poaching, illegal logging and other direct threats to biodiversity are occurring through the collection of field and intelligence data; enables rapid feedback and communication between protected area managers and frontline enforcement staff; measures the impact of anti-poaching efforts in order to judge which tactics yield the best results; and provides information to government agencies to assess cost-effectiveness of law enforcement efforts.
The SMART consortium includes Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), CITES-MIKE, Frankfurt Zoological Society, North Carolina Zoo and Zoological Society of London.
Funders include USAID, CITES, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, SOS-Save Our Species, Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group, and the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation.
SMART is open-source, nonproprietary and free to obtain.
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