Although ICT is not often associated or mentioned in the various conversations around wildlife conservation, or conservation in general, it nevertheless plays a major role both in the establishing, and maintaining of any undertaking concerned with conservation.

This is also the case here at the Southern African Wildlife College where it is our mission to empower and teach future conservationists about the importance of conserving and defending our natural resources. We make use of an array of systems and technologies in the monitoring of wildlife movements and behaviour as well as the effect our ever-changing world has on the ecosystems around us, not to even mention the impact we as humans have on our natural surroundings.

Keeping an organisation going entails having all the normal equipment and software up and running all day every day including e-mails, telephones, data servers, Wi-Fi connections, internet connections, network systems, program severs, various software packages for financial purposes as well as hospitality and catering to name but a few.

The systems also comprises Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (S.M.A.R.T) software, together with electronic devices used for the collecting of vast amounts of data over a period of time to then be analysed, interpreted and summarised into reports that can be used to help to effectively manage the various aspects of conservation. But, that’s not where it stops…… the aim is to integrate the reporting tools to then be used in the various departments that make up an organisation. For instance : from billing in finance, stock replenishing in housekeeping, stock control in workshops to the time management of workers out in the field. Take it a step further and the reports can be used to analyse patterns from weather changes to where the poachers might hit next.

In the near future we also hope to fully utilise camera systems, radio monitoring devices, GPS tracking and software analysing tools to better track and prevent poaching but to also give us a chance to better understand the movements and patterns of the wildlife, big and small. As a SADC-based training and skills development institution, through these efforts we have committed ourselves to capacity build conservationists in an effort to conserve our natural resources for the generations to come.

Article supplied by Henco Delport : Manager: IT