Tapping into Innovative Solutions to Save the World's Wildlife
Wildlife populations across the globe face innumerable threats that have resulted in dwindling numbers of many species. Ginette Hemley, SVP of Wildlife Conservation at World Wildlife Fund, will take us through many of the bold new approaches to conservation that organizations like WWF are taking to tackle these challenges. One of the most promising and potentially game-changing ideas for solving conservation problems around the world is by applying technology in creative new ways. From examining polar bear DNA to utilizing devices such as thermal imaging cameras and gunshot detectors to drawing upon the power of social networks and apps, learn about the surprising ways that WWF and its partners are harnessing the power of technology to keep up with the planet's most urgent wildlife conservation challenges.
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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Ginette Hemley,
Senior Vice President, Wildlife Conservation at WWF.
Good afternoon, well I'm really excited to be here
because this is not the type of audience I usually address.
I'm not a developer, as you've heard,
I'm head of Wildlife Conservation
at World Wildlife Fund, which is the leading organization working
globally to protect wild places and wild species
and to reduce the human footprint on the planet.
WWF has been around for more than 50 years.
We work in more than 100 countries and we have more
than 6 million members worldwide.
I'm usually talking to audiences of conservation scientists
or policymakers like congress or donors and supporters.
But one of the things I want to talk to you
about today is how we're beginning to use technology
to help save the planet and to help conserve wildlife.
And it may surprise you to hear about some of the interesting
and new ways we're using technology to save wildlife.
But first, I want to step back and take a look
at the state of the planet.
We don't hear a lot of good news on this front these days,
we are in fact facing unprecedented declines of some
of the world's most magnificent wildlife.
But we're also on the cusp of some amazing wildlife recoveries
and I'm going to tell you about some of those today.
But first, here's the backdrop.
Our living planet report tells us
that in the last 40 years we've lost half the populations
of the world's vertebrate species.
That's mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
It's affecting many of our most iconic species, including rhinos
and tigers and elephants.
Why is this happening?
The reason it's happening is twofold, habitat loss
and degradation and illegal hunting or poaching.
Habitat loss is driven mainly by agricultural expansion due
to growing human numbers, the demand for food
and for commodities like soy and palm oil and sugar.
Also developing infrastructure like roads
and generally growing urbanization.
And climate change is only adding to the challenge
by creating increased environmental stresses,
such as more intense droughts and flooding,
which is impacting a lot of things,
including wildlife migrations
and seasonal breeding and feeding patterns.
Now simultaneously a booming illegal trade
in wildlife products is impacting some
of our most endangered species.
This is a trade that is valued at, at least $20 billion a year
in wildlife and wildlife products.
Which makes it one of the top illegal enterprises
in the world amazingly after narcotics and weapons
and human trafficking.
And it's taking its toll on some of our most endangered species.
For example, a surge in the trade of ivory
in recent years has led to the death of as many
as 30,000 elephants a year.
Are traded for their ivory, which is consumed mainly
in Asia, but also here in the United States.
We are a major wildlife consuming country,
which surprises a lot of people.
By the time I finish this talk three elephants will have been
killed illegally for their ivory.
Now surge in poaching of rhinos in South Africa has happened
over the last decade from 13 animals killed in 2007
to over 1200 killed last year.
This is driven by demand in Vietnam mainly,
but also in China where rhino horn is marketed as a cure
for cancer and unbelievably as a hangover treatment.
And this latter use is a recent fad and is not rooted
in any kind of traditional medicine and neither
of these uses has any proven medical efficacy.
And in the last century we've lost 97%
of the world's wild tigers, we're down to
as few as 3900 in the wild.
Tigers are killed illegally for their skins, for their bones
and other body parts, which are used
in modern-day health tonics.
So it's a pretty grim picture, there's no question
and people often ask me well how do you not just get totally
discouraged all the time in your work
with these horrifying statistics and all the trends going
in the wrong direction.
And my response is well yes, there are a lot of challenges
for sure, but we're making important progress and in fact,
some of these trends are beginning to be reversed.
And that is because I believe that power and possibility.
I'm going to talk to you today about the power of big ideas,
the power of technology, and the power of communities.
Now I know these are big concepts
that this conference is famous for dealing with,
but what I want to do today is put
into a wildlife conservation context for you.
So let me tell you what's happening with tigers.
Seven years ago tiger numbers reached an all-time low.
When we look back now we realize that something big had to happen
if tigers were going to survive.
So we came up with the idea to hold a global summit
on tiger conservation.
That had never been done before for an endangered species
and we wondered if anyone would take us seriously.
With all the pressing problems in the world
who would care about tigers.
Well, we found an unlikely champion
in President Vladimir Putin of Russia who it turns
out has a soft spot for tigers, who would have guessed.
Well, we convinced him to invite world leaders
to a unique gathering in St. Petersburg,
Russia to chart a path for the tiger's recovery.
We put forward an ambitious challenge to double the number
of tigers in the wild by the year 2022,
which is the next Chinese year of the tiger.
We knew what it would take to recover tigers,
it's a pretty simple formula.
They need healthy habitat, they need enough prey to eat
and they need to be protected from poaching.
We also knew that the main missing ingredient was
Well fortunately, the leaders of the 13 tiger range countries
and these are the countries where tigers are still left
in the wild agreed and they committed
to a bold new recovery plan for tigers.
This was the first of its kind ever for an endangered species.
We call this TX2, Doubling Tigers in the Wild.
And this year marks the halfway point to 2022.
And guess what, governments in Asia are beginning
to implement the recovery plan
and tiger numbers are beginning to grow in the wild.
For example, tigers have been documented for the first time
as breeding in the wild in northeast China.
And tigers have been recorded
in places they've never been seen before
or documented before, which is on the border of Thailand
and Myanmar, which is where this video of a mother
and her cubs was taken just last year.
For the first time in a century overall tiger numbers are
beginning to tick upward in the wild.
If we are successful in reaching our goal
of doubling tigers it will be I think one
of the greatest achievements ever in wildlife conservation.
And personally, I believe we can do it
because I've seen this recovery firsthand.
So 20 years ago, gosh that was probably before a lot
of you were born.
Twenty years ago I visited a park
in India called Ranthambore, a tiger reserve.
It was a bad time for tigers,
poaching had hit many areas really hard and Ranthambore,
which was once a tiger stronghold was down to
about 10 tigers left in the whole park.
The park was suffering from bad management,
poor enforcement, it was pretty bleak.
We saw almost no wildlife at all and I left
that place thinking well there's just no way this park can
survive with all the pressing issues that India has to deal
with how can park have any future.
Well this tiger named Machali was born
about the time I visited Ranthambore.
We didn't see her then, but she was there in fact,
she did manage to survive.
In fact, she went on to become one
of Ranthambore's most famous tigers.
Well after I left Ranthambore things got a little bit worse
in the park, but then they got better.
The Indian government started to invest in better enforcement,
more park rangers, critical research
and things started to turn around there.
And amazingly, tigers have started to come back.
And Machali not only did she survive she went
on to have 11 cubs with two different mates,
one of them appropriately called Big Daddy
because he was the father of seven of them.
And then those cubs went on to have another 20.
And so Machali's dynasty includes more than 30 offspring
and many of them are doing really well today.
Well I had the chance to go back
to Ranthambore just a few months ago, in December of last year,
and I witnessed an amazing transformation.
The park was teeming with life
and Ranthambore's tiger numbers are now close to 60.
That's a number that actually exceeds the carrying capacity
of the park, so much so that the government is actually capturing
some tigers and relocating them to other areas outside the park
and is planning a set of new reserves for these tigers.
And that's unprecedented
in recent tiger conservation history.
So I believe we can double the number of tigers in the wild
and conservationists help create the necessary conditions.
Perhaps the boldest idea
in tiger conservation today is bringing tigers back to places
where they've become extinct.
And this is what Cambodia is planning to do.
This photo was taken in 2007
and it's the last known tiger in Cambodia.
None have been seen there since.
Well just three months ago the Cambodian government announced a
plan to bring tigers back to the eastern plains landscape
of the country, which is a very biologically diverse area,
there's still a lot of habitat, tigers can live there,
it's under pretty serious threat,
but there's enough habitat for tigers.
And we are working with the Cambodian government
in several ways to help prepare
for this possible reintroduction.
We're working to help bring back the prey species,
such as the sambar dear, kouprey,
which is a type of wild cattle.
These are important species for the tigers to eat.
It happens to also be that these species are popular
with local people and a lot of them have been hunted
out because of poor enforcement.
So we're helping to bring these species back
and also helping the government to increase its enforcement
in this area because tigers and their prey will never survive
without good enforcement.
And we're also working to prepare the local people
for the prospect of living next to one
of the world's great predators.
Interestingly, in our conservation work with wildlife
as human populations grow we have increasing conflict
It's happening all over the world, but also interestingly
in Cambodia, there's a lot of local support
for bringing tigers back as it turns out.
Because tigers have always been a popular part
of Cambodian culture and natural history.
Well if all goes well the government of Cambodia hopes
to get eight tigers from India in 2019 for release to the wild.
It's a long and complicated road ahead and it's not
without controversy or risk, but if it happens it will be one
of the most exciting developments I think
in wildlife conservation.
Well I'm happy to say that rhinos are also recovering
in parts of their range.
Whole new populations actually are being established
by physically moving these prehistoric looking animals
to help set up safe new homes for them
where their numbers can grow.
And I want to show you a video of a big idea that's playing
out in South Africa where incredibly the safest way
to physically move these animals is to tranquilize them
and lift them up by helicopter for transport by air
on a journey that would otherwise take many hours
if not days by road.
Black rhino and rhinos generally are
under huge pressure.
We really have to fight for them.
If they don't have champions they're doomed to disappear.
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And this is the kindest way we've yet discovered
of moving a rhino from the field to a vehicle.
It's a big operation, it's a lot of animals to try and move
in a really short time.
There are no roads, there is no access whatsoever.
You know, most of these parts are wilderness area.
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The WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims
to boost the growth rate
of the black rhino populations of South Africa.
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It's become a passion, it's not just a job it's a passion
and yeah, it gets into your soul.
There hasn't really been an operation of this nature
with 20 black rhino conducted in South Africa.
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It's a bit sad to let them go, you get attached to them.
The field rangers know them by name.
Every single one is different, you know,
it's a wild animal that's completely unpredictable.
We're really glad for them because we think it's a --
we know that it's critical and it's extremely important.
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Over 1400 kilometer journey,
it's the longest journey I've ever done with rhinos.
The black rhino coming back
in this area it was a very big thing.
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This has been a very good cooperative thing
because we've got Eastern Cape parks, we've got SANParks,
we've got [inaudible] wildlife and of course, WWF.
And I think it could only work
because all the different parties are so passionate.
It's a huge thing too to see them for the first time coming
to this particular area here.
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There's no doubt that this project has made a huge
difference to rhino conservation in South Africa.
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So in the midst of a poaching epidemic that's hitting parts
of the country whole new rhino populations are being created
through this extraordinary method building a future
for the species in South Africa.
Well another country that is pioneering rhino translocations
is Nepal where it has increased its populations
of greater one horned rhino, another species,
from 400 animals about 10 years ago to 650 today and it hopes
to get 800 by 2020 and it's well on its way.
Because of the dense forest that this species lives
in the more traditional method of moving them by truck is used
and the latest rhino translocations took place
in Nepal in March of this year when eight rhinos were moved
from one national park to another.
And I want to show you a video
of a rhino getting introduced to its new home.
See it, has a bit a hard time getting out of the truck.
It gives you a sense
of how powerful these two ton animals are.
Well there's wonderful evidence
that these recently translocated rhinos are doing well.
Just three weeks ago one of them gave birth
to this adorable little guy who is also getting
to know his new home for the first time.
Well, sometimes big ideas need to be backed by the power
of technology and we are increasingly using tech
in our work, on the ground, in the cloud, information sharing,
crowdsourcing to the Internet of things
and all the sensors that are part of it.
There's no question that technology is helping to fortify
and accelerate many of our wildlife conservation efforts.
But just for a larger context, when I first went to Ranthambore
in India, the human population of India was
about a billion people.
India is projected to add another half billion people
to its population by 2050.
In Africa, the human population is expected to double
by the year 2015 and double again by the end of the century.
Technology needs to help conservation adapt
to this crowded new world.
So let me show you some of the ways that we're using tech
in our work from new tracking methods of wildlife using DNA
to detecting and deterring poaching using thermal cameras
So our work tracking wildlife has come a long way.
We used to rely on pugmarks to footprints or scat,
which are animal droppings to count and monitor animals
and that was very laborious and pretty imprecise.
So camera traps have become kind of the mainstream way
of monitoring animals in the natural habitat.
Camera traps are cameras set up remotely that are triggered
by a motion sensor when an animal crosses its path.
And these are especially useful for species that are most active
at night like lions or species that have distinctive markings
like a brown hyena where you can identify individuals
by their markings and the same with tigers.
In fact, the latest tiger surveys have relied on thousands
and thousands of images from camera traps
that are giving us the latest tiger population trends.
And as cameras become lighter
and smaller they are giving us a wonderful window
into what the world looks like from an animal's perspective.
And videos like this help us understand how species
like turtles are using their habitat,
which helps us understand how to protect them better.
They are also great tools for raising awareness.
This video has been viewed by millions of people,
it's gone viral and it's been a very popular one that's really
helped connect people to turtles in a unique way.
And innovative uses of GPS technology are helping us
to understand where wildlife is going, their daily movements
and their seasonal migrations.
One of our scientists made a cool discovery in 2012
by putting special satellite collars
with the latest GPS technology on a group
of eight zebras he discovered that they moved from a part
of northern Namibia to the middle of Botswana,
about 200 miles south.
And this turns out to be the longest known terrestrial
migration in Africa and it's amazing to think
that as recently as just four years ago we didn't know
about the longest land migration in Africa
and this technology made that possible.
So here's an animation of the zebras moving over the course
of about six or seven months.
Each colored dot represents an individual zebra.
They start in this northern part of Namibia
and they start moving south as the wet season comes on.
You'll see the dark green background indicating the wet
season is coming.
They move south pretty quickly to a special place
where it turns out they eat a very nutritious grass during the
They hang out there for about 10 weeks and then they kind
of start meandering back up north
to the place from where they came.
It takes them a little longer to get back up,
but they finally end up back when the dry season comes
to their preferred habitat in Namibia.
And the importance of this data is that we can now use it
to advocate for protecting the species
through its whole migration corridor
and thus preserve the lifecycle of the herd
in this particular area.
Well, one of the most recent developments
that I'm most excited about is the use
of thermal imaging cameras to help identify poaching threats.
Thermal cameras are also known
as infrared cameras detect the heat emitted
from a person or an animal.
And in a pilot we're undertaking
in Africa we're pairing these cameras with software
that is able to distinguish an animal from a person.
So when a person crosses into a park illegally
or inappropriately the software automatically sends a signal
to enforcement authorities.
Since these cameras were installed a few weeks ago,
they're put on poles actually and they have a viewing range
of 2 miles, up to 2 miles, a huge range.
And since they were installed they have detected several
intruders in this particular area
and one suspected poacher has been arrested.
And let me show you the video of the poacher
or suspected poacher who was arrested.
You see him walking along the fence line,
which is the border of the park.
He's looking for a way to get into the park inappropriately.
Finally finds a way, jumps over and he's in the park.
And that red box around him is what triggers the signal,
the alert that's sent
to enforcement authorities who later nabbed him.
So if this technology is successful,
if this pilot works we hope to scale it to other areas
where we think it could have a really good use
in perimeter security around protected areas.
Well remember I said earlier we started our work years ago using
footprints as a way to track animals and count them.
Well we're still using footprints,
but these days we're extracting DNA from them.
Through advances in DNA technology an amazing amount
of information can be drawn from a polar bear footprint
in the snow, including the gender of the animal
and incredibly what it had for its last meal.
So as we're working with DNA experts
to refine this technology and get the cost down.
But this has the potential
to revolutionize how we track animals
in their natural habitats and it's particularly useful --
it could be useful for species like polar bears who live
in very extreme environments, making them extremely difficult
to study and very expensive to study.
So this is exciting as well.
Well, we've been hearing a lot about drones
in so many different ways and drones are a big part
of our work in conservation.
There's been a lot of hype about them as well.
The challenge we have with using drones in conservation is
to develop civilian level systems of drones that have some
of the similar capabilities as military drones,
but at a fraction of the cost,
otherwise they're just never going to be used
by park managers and conservationists.
So we're experimenting with these different sort
of downscaled systems of using different approaches
and for different needs.
For example, we're using them to map colonies
of prairie dogs here in United States.
Prairie dogs happen to be the main prey species
for the most endangered mammal in North America,
which is the black-footed ferrets.
So by knowing where prairie dogs live we know where ferrets live
or have the potential to live
so we can thus help better develop recovery efforts
We're also using drones to help identify poaching threats
and address poaching in Africa.
Well the challenge we've had with drones is
that they are probably best used and best function
as reactionary tools or devices that are deployed
when another sensor is set off somewhere else in the area
that the drones can then help pinpoint
where potential illegal activity is taking place.
In fact, drones because right now the viewing
of the videos is not as broad as it could be the range.
We are now working to try to get those improved
so that more can be seen from a drone.
We're also trying to develop software much
like with the thermal cameras that can help us identify people
from animals and thus, send alerts automatically to rangers.
So we're continuing to evolve our work with drones
and they certainly have a role to play in different ways
if we can get the capabilities improved.
We're also continuing to think of new ideas to help some
of our challenges and I wanted to share a couple that are
in their early stages of development.
These are wire snares, snares are one of the greatest hazards
to wildlife everywhere.
Literally millions and millions of them are used
around the world and they are creating real havoc
They're easy, unfortunately they're inexpensive
and relatively easy to use and we need to find a way
to detect them better, so that rangers can collect them.
In fact, in one park in Malawi last year just
to give you a sense of how widely these are used.
Malawi is a country in Africa, 13,000 snares were collected
over an eight month period and that probably wasn't all
that were in this particular park.
So what we're doing is we're experimenting with types
of radar to try to map where snares are because they're made
of metal we can use radar we hope.
Potentially positioned from drones,
so that rangers can more easily find them
and go out and collect them.
And if we can do this
in a cost-effective way it could be a huge gain for wildlife.
Snares typically grab an animal by its leg
and inflict a lot of injury.
Sometimes it'll grab them by the neck like this zebra,
fortunately the zebra was able to survive,
but often species do not.
We're also working on a gunshot detector to help pinpoint
where poaching is happening.
And we got the idea from a tool called ShotSpotter,
which we actually read about in the Washington Post.
ShotSpotter is used by police departments to try to pinpoint
where gunshots are happening in cities through audio sensors
that are placed on buildings.
We called up the Washington DC Police Department who invited us
down to see ShotSpotter in action.
We sat in the command center looking at this big screen
as pins dropped in real time
as shots were going off around the city.
It was quite a surreal experience.
The challenge we have on the wildlife front is,
where do you put sensors, audio sensors,
in a vast national park?
No buildings there, huge territory.
Well the idea that we're working on is to place the detector
on a special collar fitted on an elephant
that could help rangers quickly come to an area
where maybe an animal has been shot
and if it's only wounded they may stand a better chance
of saving it than they otherwise would
and it could prevent further killing of the herd.
Also it could be a good deterrent
by simply seeing this device
on the elephant poachers may stay away.
This could be a great tool for conservation,
but right now the costs are a pretty significant
Well none of this really promising technology can replace
people on the ground, the rangers,
the enforcement officers, the communities
who are really critical to protecting wildlife.
In fact, it's often the people who live closest to the wildlife
who are its greatest guardians.
I mentioned earlier the country of Nepal
and its successful rhino conservation efforts.
A lot of that success is due to the direct involvement
of communities and conservation.
Nepal has achieved a remarkable record.
In fact, in the last six years, four of those years,
Nepal has had zero poaching of rhinos.
This is an amazing achievement at a time
when rhino poaching is happening,
big rates everywhere in the world.
The reason for this is the involvement
of local communities, big commitments from the government,
but particularly communities have set up informer networks
that share critical tips on illegal activities
and help track poaching
and illegal trading activities in wildlife.
And in fact, one notorious rhino smuggler was recently prosecuted
in Nepal after community members collected information
and they banded together to turn him in.
And he's now serving a seven year sentence,
which is a long sentence for a wildlife crime.
In the country of Namibia all the trends that you're seeing
across Africa have been bucked in this country and that is due
to the involvement of communities and conservation.
Namibia has actually seen growth almost across the board
of its wildlife populations in the last 20 years
and its elephant numbers have in fact tripled since the 1990's.
At a time when unfortunately numbers have plummeted
in most other countries in Africa.
And this is because communities are directly involved
in conservation as the managers and stewards
of the wildlife there.
Legislation in Namibia gives communities the right
and the responsibility to manage wildlife resources
under their jurisdictions.
It also allows them to benefit directly
from the revenues associated
with wildlife related activities like ecotourism.
This gives them a direct incentive in and stake
in conservation and that has made all the difference.
This is truly a model program for both wildlife conservation
and world development and in fact,
a lot of countries are looking to Namibia
to learn how they're doing it so they can also adopt some
of these same practices.
While communities of another sort are helping us
to address the needed reforms and policies in some
of the most important wildlife consuming countries.
That letter that was up there is called Chor Chang,
it is a letter in the Thai alphabet.
It also happens to be the first letter
for the word elephant in Thai.
We asked people in Thailand, which happens
to be the world's second largest market for ivory,
to help raise awareness about the illegal ivory trade
by trying to imagine a world without elephants.
By symbolically erasing the letter Chor Chang
from their names.
This campaign went viral, over a million people participated.
They posted pictures of their name online
without the letter Chor Chang in it on Facebook,
on Twitter, on Instagram.
And result was huge public pressure on the Thai government
to crack down on the illegal ivory trade
and to reform its ivory trade laws and they did.
It was a big success.
Just two weeks ago here in this country our own federal
government announced a new regulation, a final regulation
to ban almost all commercial trade
of ivory in the United States.
Something we've been working on for more than three years.
This regulation was partly made real
by huge public outpouring of support for it.
In fact, WWF was able to generate more
than a million signatures on an online petition,
which is the most the governments ever received
from an organization on a wildlife issue.
And the significance of this regulation is not only
because the U.S. is one of the top five ivory markets
in the world, it has also prompted similar action
in China, the world's largest market for ivory.
In fact, one of our big breakthroughs last year was a
joint commitment by President Obama and President Xi of China
to take action against the illegal ivory trade
and we're beginning to see that commitment implemented.
And I'm really happy to share
that just a week ago China announced
at the U.S. China strategic and economic dialogue talks
in Beijing that they will announce by the end
of this year a timetable for shutting
down their domestic ivory market.
This is a huge deal for conservation.
If China makes good on its commitment
and we will do everything we can to ensure that they do,
it will be a game changer for Africa's elephants.
So inspiring people to actively participate
in conservation issues is a really critical part
of our strategy at WWF.
And new technologies are making this possible
in ways we never dreamed of before.
We first entered the app world, your world, three years ago
with the launch of WWF Together.
On the iPad, it's now also on the iPhone.
It's an app that introduces people to animals
from around the world through stunning visuals and video,
the art of origami and interactives
that use embedded Apple technologies like the camera
and the accelerometer.
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We were thrilled to be invited to this stage in 2012,
to accept the Apple design award for this app.
Our work in close collaboration
with Apple actually started last year with a conservation project
in China to protect up to a million acres of forest.
That important work led to an initiative to engage hundreds
of millions of people through the largest Earth Day promotion
ever called Apps for Earth.
Hopefully many of you saw this, well actually some
of you participated in a very significant way
in this ten-day promotion led by Apple in April.
Twenty four developers created unique app contents
with conservation messages about the importance
of conserving natural resources and wildlife
and finding solutions to some
of the most pressing threats to our planet.
People around the world could play Angry Birds 2 and shoot
down greedy pigs who were overfishing the ocean.
Or in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes buy a pack of Ewoks
to help save the forest moon Endor.
Or challenge friends and family at Trivia Crack
to test their knowledge of some of the most important issues
of our time, such as climate change.
We reached millions of people
with critical conservation messages.
And we also raised critical funding for conservation.
In fact, I am super excited to be able to share with you today
that Apps for Earth raised over $8 million for conservation.
This is unprecedented, it's a huge deal for conservation
and this critical funding will go to help advance some
of the initiatives you've heard about today like doubling tigers
in the wild and protecting forest and saving coral reefs.
It's a huge deal.
We are so grateful to everyone who participated and especially,
to Apple who made it all possible.
If we can do this kind of thing together just imagine what we
can do if we continue to apply our most creative ideas
in support of conservation.
We're making important progress, but there's so much more to do.
To save everything we need everyone and there are a lot
of critical challenges that the tech industry can help with.
There's no question that technology has a critical role
to play in our vision for saving the planet.
We need your help to address the digital divide,
the lack of connectivity in remote areas
where conservation happens, which are often beyond the reach
of the global system for mobile communication.
And we need your help to develop smaller, less expensive devices
with longer battery times so that we can track all the users
in a protected area, both the animals and the people,
and transmit data in real time
to conservation scientists and managers.
And as the technology of the Internet
of things develops we need your help
to deploy it in conservation.
And we need your help to find the most innovative ways
to reach people everywhere with compelling stories
about conservation to get them onboard with our mission.
Nature and all the wonderful wildlife that is part
of it is powerful and resilient and it will respond and rebound
if given half a chance.
Technology can help do that, as can all of us in this room
when we share ideas and work together.
And we at WWF look forward to that.
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