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USAID, Partners Announce Winners of Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, Sourcing Science and Technology Solutions to Halt Illegal Wildlife Trade | Press Release | U.S. Agency for International Development

by Portal Web Editor last modified Apr 19, 2016 11:26 AM
Contributors: USAID Press Office
USAID
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners have announced 16 prize winners under the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge. USAID will award $10,000 to each winner and provide technical support to help them advance their solutions to stamp out illegal trade in wildlife. Winners are eligible to compete for one of four Grand Prizes worth as much as $500,000. USAID will use Grand Prizes to target and invest in the most promising solutions.

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The Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge is an initiative of USAID, in partnership with National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Launched in 2014, the Challenge is finding new, innovative solutions to the most intractable issues in the fight against wildlife trafficking. The program represents one component of USAID's efforts to support the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

"Wildlife trafficking not only threatens to wipe out iconic animals such as elephants and rhinoceroses, it is also devastating communities worldwide through associated criminality, violence and theft. Through this program, we are bringing in new ideas and engaging with new audiences to halt the devastation before it is too late,"  said Cynthia Gill, Director of USAID's Forestry and Biodiversity Office.

Selected out of a pool of 300 applicants from 52 countries, prize winners are individuals, universities, nonprofits, and corporations from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. Winning innovations include a variety of solutions at all stages of innovation that address four critical issues: detecting and predicting transit routes; strengthening forensic evidence; reducing consumer demand and addressing corruption.

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