PRESS RELEASE | Technology lab focused on wildlife protection opens on  Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019                       
For Immediate Release

Elodie Sampere, +254 / 727341612 or

Technology lab focused on wildlife protection opens on  Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta Conservancy partners with conservation and technology organisations to kick-start a research and innovation centre for wildlife conservation

In partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Liquid Telecom and Arm, and supported with initial funds from The Royal Foundation, Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya has opened a Conservation Tech Lab to research, test support and develop new technology-based solutions to conservation-challenges around the world.

The Technology lab aims to be a world-leading collaborative hub for the testing, support and development of technologies. It is hoped that the facility will help accelerate learning and embrace accessible, scalable conservation solutions. These solutions will improve biodiversity conservation and human well-being, locally and globally.

Start-up funding and additional technical assistance for the Conservation Technology Lab has been provided by The Royal Foundation, global technology leader Arm, and FFI. The work of the Lab is also being supported by the global conservation technology community through WILDLABS.NET.

The Ol Pejeta Conservation Tech Lab will deliver technological solutions and services that support biodiversity conservation and community welfare and it is hoped will serve as a model for global conservation efforts. Another objective is to provide an international field laboratory for the development and testing of conservation-relevant technological solutions. Finally, it will enable collaboration, learning and knowledge exchange in order to stimulate innovation and scale impact.

The Conservation Tech Lab is already helping Ol Pejeta in the advancement of remote sensing using the Internet of Things, monitoring cattle movements using Sigfox, a Low Power Wide Area Network technology provided by Liquid Telecom. This technology will soon be adapted to rhino tracking on Ol Pejeta, which will make a significant difference to their security and data collection. Sigfox technology allows for longer battery life than older radio collars or GSM solutions, thus enabling much smaller devices that are less intrusive to animals. Tapping into the latest advancements in data science, Internet of Things, and Big Data Analytics, the Ol Pejeta Conservation Tech Lab will also support real-time monitoring of all animals throughout the conservancy and the wider landscape, helping to both protect endangered species from poachers and improve overall wildlife management.

For instance, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Liquid Telecom have deployed a secure high-speed network to connect devices and sensors throughout the wildlife conservancy, providing visibility and data on the movements and behaviour of animals.

“This is a critical and exciting time for conservation globally and we have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible when it comes to applying technology to wildlife protection. As the world’s first technology hub dedicated to wildlife conservation, The Ol Pejeta Conservation Technology Lab will play a central role in building technology-enabled responses that can keep pace with the growing threats to global biodiversity.” said Joanna Elliott, Senior Director of Conservation Partnerships at Fauna & Flora International.

“Technology has the potential to truly transform wildlife conservation across the world as well as Africa, providing a much safer and brighter future for endangered species. The Ol Pejeta Conservation Tech Lab will be a centre of excellence that will demonstrate this potential to the world, showcasing affordable and sophisticated solutions that can have a meaningful and sustained impact on the region’s conservation efforts,” said Ben Roberts, Group CTIO at Liquid Telecom.

Being based on a leading wildlife conservancy, the Ol Pejeta Conservation Tech Lab is able to quickly ascertain the effectiveness of new solutions, and how best to adapt them to create a bigger impact within the relevant demographic areas. We can combine cutting edge technology with cost-effective and straight-forward solutions to ensure we have significant impact on the challenges facing conservation.

“The technology is now available to protect Africa’s wildlife and ensure we never see another needless loss to the world like the recent death of our last male northern white rhino, Sudan. We hope Ol Pejeta Conservancy will pioneer sustainable and practical technology-assisted wildlife conservation and act as a role model to other conservancies” said William Njoroge, Head of Technology, Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

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Notes to editors

About Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta Conservancy stretches over 360 km2 in Central Kenya's Laikipia County, providing a sanctuary for some of the region’s most endangered species. It is home to East Africa’s largest population of black rhinos and the world’s remaining northern white rhinos as well as lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and many other endangered species. Ol Pejeta Conservancy has consulted with local communities to ensure the opening of the Tec Hub and its activities serve these communities. The plight of the northern white rhino, which has been poached extensively for its horns, captured the world’s attention in March when the last male was euthanised at Ol Pejeta, leaving just two females in existence.

About United for Wildlife / The Royal Foundation
United for Wildlife works to tackle illegal wildlife trade by bringing together conservation organisations, governments, and global corporations. Led by The Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife is working to protect endangered species like elephants, rhinos, tigers and pangolins so they can share our world with future generations.

Together we:
1. Support new and innovative ways to protect animals against poachers.
2. Combine forces to crack down on trafficking.
3. Change global mindsets and reduce demand.

About Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
FFI protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and that take account of human needs. Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide, FFI saves species from extinction and habitats from destruction, while improving the livelihoods of local people. Founded in 1903, FFI is the world’s longest established international wildlife conservation organisation and a registered charity.

About Liquid Telecom
Liquid Telecom is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa that serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services. It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, approaching 70,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 80 MW of power. This is in addition to offering leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365, Microsoft Azure and innovative digital content provision including Netflix and Kwesé TV across our fibre footprint.
Through this combined offering Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers’ experience on their digital journey.

About Liquid Telecom Innovation Partnerships
The Liquid Telecom Innovation Partnerships initiative was launched in 2017 and is aimed at supporting the growth of digital technology innovation across Africa.
By bringing together key innovation players from within the region’s, Liquid Telecom is helping technology companies originated and founded in Africa to scale through mutually beneficial partnerships.
Under the Innovation Partnerships initiative, Liquid Telecom is providing start-ups in the region with connectivity and cloud-based services, and through Go Cloud - a new programme launched by Liquid Telecom and supported by Microsoft – is also raising awareness, adoption and usage of Azure Cloud across Africa.


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