Dimension Data and Cisco take anti-poaching technology into Africa
Expansion follows a successful pilot in South Africa which reduced rhino poaching incidents by 96%
Global technology giants, Dimension Data and Cisco, have expanded their anti-poaching "Connected Conservation" programme into Zambia, Kenya, and Mozambique to continue protecting rhino and help fight the war on the startling numbers of African savanna elephant being poached.
The move follows a successful pilot which saw the two companies install some of the world's most sophisticated technology in a private game reserve located next to the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
After the technology for Connected Conservation was deployed in the private reserve in November 2015, the number of rhino poaching incidents has been reduced by 96%. In 2017, no rhino in the reserve were poached.
According to the two companies, the human activity in these environments is often not monitored because the reserve is in a remote location with basic IT infrastructure and access control, manual security processes, and very limited communication.
"Many organisations have committed to protecting animals through various reactive initiatives, such as dehorning, or inserting sensors in the horn and under the subcutaneous layer of skin, explained Bruce Watson, group executive, Dimension Data. "However, the problem with reactive initiatives is that by the time the reserve rangers reach the animal, it has been killed and the rhino horn or elephant tusks have been hacked off."
Dimension Data said with the Connected Conservation model, the technology is designed to proactively protect the land against humans. The animals are not touched, and are left to roam freely while a "layered" effect of sophisticated technology, people
Cisco and Dimension Data's vision is to replicate the solution in South Africa, Africa, and globally to protect all forms of endangered species including lion, pangolin, elephant, tigers in India and Asia, as well as sharks and sea rays in the ocean.
The next project is already underway in an unnamed park in Zambia and will be followed by Kenya and Mozambique with a strong focus on protecting elephants.
"We're also working with the Zambian local authorities and the fishing community to create a centralised digital fishing permit system that will monitor individuals who pose as fisherman but are actually poachers," Watson said.
Karen Walker, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Cisco, said: "More than ever before, technology has given us the ability to change the world - not tomorrow, not someday, but now. At Cisco, we are dedicated to making a difference by connecting the world and protecting the oldest and most vulnerable animals with some of the newest connectivity technology.
"Working closely with Dimension Data, we have established a secure, reliable network that operates 24 hours daily across game reserves in South Africa and Africa. We are extremely proud to be part of the expansion of Connected Conservation into Africa, to save more endangered species."
Watson added that: "In partnership with Cisco, our vision is to eliminate all forms of poaching globally through continuous innovation in technology to protect more vulnerable species in more countries."