Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub

The goal of the Innovation Hub is to create a space to pilot, demonstrate, and train practitioners on best practice using existing and emerging tools and technological applications in the field of conservation management.

In establishing a Conservation Innovation Hub, to be based at the Southern African Wildlife College, the Research and Development Department aims to achieve this goal through formal training and practical demonstrations that solve real life challenges in the conservation sector. The Innovation Hub will trial various hardware and software tools as well as other tools, to test integration between such, including resource needs and usage. This is aimed at providing holistic and agnostic advice for each particular conservation context (from well-equipped connected areas, to areas with little to no current technological capabilities). The objective to help conservation organisations, agencies and other partners meet their areas management needs and aims.

The use of technology in conservation makes for more efficient use of time and information, better quality and quantity of data collected, and more powerful use of that data in shorter periods of time. Integration, and our holistic approach, means that a range of technological solutions can be employed across all protected area sectors; from law enforcement, to ecological monitoring, to infrastructure and resource management.

The flexibility of these tools and the principles used to operate them are broad reaching. Therefore, staff capacity in any of the technologies offered are skills that can be transferred into a wide range of fields. The Conservation Innovation Hub offers a user needs assessment of any given protected area, in order to advise on the best solution in each situation. We also demonstrate how the technologies can work for each context. Once a way forward is agreed we can assist with tech deployment and provide training at a range of levels. We also offer ongoing support to make sure the systems are working at their best.

An additional benefit of implementing a standardised technological approach across reserves would be the possibility of cross border communication and support between reserves, and meta-analysis and management in the wider landscape.

Supporting Partners

Department Contact Info

Research and Development Department 

Dr, Cleo Graf
rdadmin(at)sawc.org.za

Mon – Fri 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

Social Info

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The following, institutionally accredited, short courses are offered by the college;

EarthRanger

EarthRanger is an easy-to-use, online software tool built to meet the unique needs of protected area managers and any organizations who want to visualize data over a large area. The application integrates and displays historical data from smart or connected devices and real-time data available from a protected area; wildlife, the rangers protecting them, and other threats. EarthRanger empowers protected area managers and rangers to take immediate, proactive action to prevent and mitigate threat incidents.

SMART

The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is developed to address anti-poaching, law enforcement and conservation area management. SMART is a software that enables the streamlining of collecting, analysing and reporting of information. It also gives the manager the needed information to strategically deploy patrols using information such as snares found and rhino movement.

Quantum GIS

Quantum GIS is an open source software that functions as geographic information system (GIS) software, allowing users to analyze and edit spatial information, in addition to composing and exporting graphical maps.

All of the courses can be offered on site, or at the SAWC, depending on the number of people and resources (computers, computer literacy, internet coverage etc.) available. Some elements of the courses can be offered online, depending on the computer literacy of the attendees.

We would be happy to demonstrate any of the described technologies and are, of course, open to any questions, comments, or discussions around what we have described above or any ideas you may have.

Available Short Courses

Quantum Geographical Information Systems

Department : Research and Development
Instructor : Nandi Thobela
Method : Campus, Offsite
Duration : 10 days
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EarthRanger for Administrators

Department : Research and Development
Instructor : Nandi Thobela
Method : Lecture, Online
Duration : 1 day
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EarthRanger for Data Capture

Department : Research and Development
Instructor : Nandi Thobela
Method : Lecture, Online
Duration : 1 day
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SMART for Managers

Department : Research and Development
Level : NQF Level 6
Instructor : Peter Hamming
Credit : Institutional
Method : Campus, Offsite
Duration : 4 days
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SMART for Data Capture

Department : Research and Development
Level : NQF Level 5
Instructor : Peter Hamming
Credit : Institutional
Method : Campus, Offsite
Duration : 1 day
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