Technology wins to Save African Wildlife and Environment
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Monday, May 15, 2006 - The African Conservation Network, an initiative of the African Conservation Foundation (ACF) and its partners around Africa, has won the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Award 2006 in the Environment category.
The Network utilises Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to link conservation initiatives throughout the continent and build local capacity for conservation. It is both an Internet-based resource system and a forum for NGOs, professionals and the general public to discuss the issues related to biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.
“We are working together with local partners in Kenya, Cameroon, Zambia and Somalia to establish regional resource centres that will provide education, training and capacity building to local groups.”, said ACF Director Arend de Haas. “The resource centres will at the same time operate as networking hubs to support information sharing between people and organisations around the continent.”
The Stockholm Challenge, also known as the Nobel Prize of IT, is a unique awards programme for pioneering IT projects world-wide. Focusing on innovative use of information technology, and the benefit it might give people, society and environment, the Stockholm Challenge creates a platform for exchange of ideas and experiences, and to showcase best practise within the field of IT.
This year the Stockholm Challenge Award received the highest number of entries since its start ten years ago. More than 1100 projects registered in the six categories that are available in the 2006 award.
151 teams from 53 countries were invited to come to Stockholm and participate in the final event on May 8-11. The winners in each category were announced during the prize celebrations, attended by over 400 guests, in the Stockholm City Hall on May 11.
The chairman of the jury, Earl Mardle, presented the African Conservation Network to the audience: "The artificial limits of country and culture and lack of awareness hinder effective collaboration and knowledge sharing between peer organizations … This project is an excellent practical example of a common networking point, as well as a growing database of information, for dealing with Environmental issues at every level, from the local to the continental."
“We feel very proud and honoured at being a winner of the Stockholm Challenge”, said ACF Director Terry Harnwell. “The award will enable ACF and its partners to serve the many dedicated people and organisations that are working hard to improve people’s lives and preserve Africa’s flora and fauna.”
The African Conservation Foundation and its partners wish to thank the organising committee of the Stockholm Challenge and all its sponsors of the 2006 round: Ericsson, the City of Stockholm, Sida, SPIDER, Sun Microsystems, IDRC and Cisco.
The Stockholm Challenge programme 2006 has focused on ICT for development in underserved communities throughout the world. The object has been to find excellent examples ICT implementations that show clear benefits to people and their communities, wide impact and sustainable business models.