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How we work: Promoting technological innovation

drone. Credit Don McCullough CC BY 2.0
Written by: Rebecca Drury
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As illegal wildlife trade gets more sophisticated, we are seeking more high-tech ways of tackling it. Technology has significant potential to help the conservation sector address wildlife trade more effectively, for example by:

  • Strengthening the quality of scientific input and monitoring using GIS, data management, tracking and mobile phone technologies
  • Influencing consumer decision-making through smart phone apps (e.g. beat the microbead)
  • Using drones to monitor wildlife in remote areas

Current Fauna & Flora International (FFI) projects include:

  •  Conservation Labs: FFI’s initiative Conservation Labs aims to develop the first open-innovation hub, WildLabs.net, which launches in November 2015 and will focus on applying emerging technologies to help solve the most pressing conservation problems. This will enable FFI and our United for Wildlife partners to match challenges presented by illegal wildlife trade with the technology sector, aiming to link needs with solutions.
  • SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool): SMART is a tool for measuring, evaluating and improving the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement patrols and site-based conservation activities. FFI is trialling SMART at a number of its field sites.


Written by
Rebecca Drury

Rebecca is FFI’s Senior Technical Specialist for Wildlife Trade. With a PhD in Human Ecology, she is interested in the challenges of the relationship between human needs and the environment. Before joining FFI, Rebecca worked on these issues in Egypt, Nepal, Cambodia and Vietnam. Her work included researching the social drivers of consumer demand for wildlife products in Vietnam. At FFI, Rebecca provides technical input to, and is responsible for the strategic development of, FFI’s work to address illegal trade in wild species.

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