Nature Seychelles goes high-tech with Huawei on Cousin Island
One of the world’s leading providers of information and communication technology company, Huawei Technologies, is supporting a local environmental non-profit organisation to improve conservation through use of novel technology in Seychelles.
The NGO, Nature Seychelles, has received a grant of $200,000 from the tech giant that will go toward a new project that has been dubbed ‘Next-Gen Conservation: Applying and sharing lessons in the use of technology and digital based solutions for island and coastal conservation management.’
Through the project, the team at Nature Seychelles seeks to improve digital connectivity on Cousin Island Special Reserve. Nature Seychelles has been managing the reserve since 1998, and is currently undertaking various conservation projects on the island.
The funding provided will also be used to develop and roll out specific tech-driven activities to scale up conservation of sea turtles, coral reefs, and endemic bird monitoring.
In a recent press release from the NGO, its chief executive, Nirmal Shah, said that he and his team are already working with local companies to develop such next-generation technology solutions.
“Through this project we want to scale up the energy and capacity of tech people locally to develop new products and services for conservation. We are therefore also building a new community of practice,” said Shah.
Working towards the eventual certification of the reserve under the IUCN Green List, an international standard that certifies and recognises effectively managed protected area sites, is another aim of the management team of the reserve.
The project is part of a global initiative by Huawei called Tech4Nature, aimed at scaling up nature conservation success through the use of digital technology innovations. It was created by IUCN and Huawei and seeks to allow over 300 protected areas across the globe to evaluate their conservation success through the IUCN Green List Standard by 2023.
Shah said that Nature Seychelles was invited to become part of this global program,e after he wrote an article in May 2020 soon after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the article – ‘Next-Gen Conservation: Biodiversity Conservation needs a radical make-over to get over COVID-19’ – “was far more influential” than he had expected.
“People at IUCN worked hard to include us in this global initiative despite Huawei not having a country office or official presence in Seychelles. This once again shows that having consistent world-class achievements under one’s belt are a key to building and consolidating important international partnerships,” said Shah.