Google writes of the launch of this award :
Technology has dramatically improved our lives—from the speed at which we get things done to how we connect with others. Yet innovations in medicine, business and communications have far outpaced tech-enabled advances in the nonprofit sector.
Today we’re launching the Global Impact Awards to support organizations using technology and innovative approaches to tackle some of the toughest human challenges. From real-time sensors that monitor clean water to DNA barcoding that stops wildlife trafficking, our first round of awards provides $23 million to seven organizations changing the world.
By awarding WWF with this award, Google aims “to create an umbrella of technology to protect endangered wildlife like elephants, rhinos and tigers. We’ll be using aerial survey technology to track poachers and wildlife, cutting edge wildlife tagging technology, and increasing support for patrolling and database software.”
Their reason for selecting WWF? “The illegal wildlife trade, estimated to be worth $7-10 billion annually, devastates endangered species, damages ecosystems, and threatens local livelihoods and regional security,” shares Google on their blog. “World Wildlife Fund will use its $5 million Global Impact Award to adapt and implement specialized sensors and wildlife tagging technology.”
“The Global Impact Award will enable WWF to test advanced but easily replicable technologies in key African and Asian landscape,” the organization said in its press statement on the award.
This award couldn’t have come at a better time, as poaching rates have peaked over the past few years. BBC reports:
The WWF said poaching and trafficking of body parts was having a devastating effect on the wild populations of some species, setting back decades long conservation efforts.
The past 12 months have seen a significant rise in attacks on some animals, such as rhinos.
In five years the number of rhinos killed in South Africa has risen from 13 to 588, according to statistics from Traffic, which monitors the trade in endangered animal parts.
WWF president Carter Roberts said: “We face an unprecedented poaching crisis. The killings are way up.
“We need solutions that are as sophisticated as the threats we face.”
Here is a promo of the awards, which also sheds light into the work of some of the other winners: