WWF's Conservation Innovation Awards

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Today, 35 finalists have been announced for WWF-New Zealand’s 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards, including from Far North, Auckland, Raglan, Hamilton, East Coast, Waikanae, Martinborough, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Wellington, Upper Hutt, Dunedin, Nelson and Christchurch.

There were 47 entries logged from Kiwis across the country. Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony in Wellington on 22 November.

Meet your 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards Finalists (listed per region):

  1. Hannah Smith Auckland Ur-bins (Urban Rat compost Bins) 
  2. Leigh Nicholson, Auckland Hanging Gardens of New Zealand - The new wonder of the modern world
  3. Andrew Lee, Auckland Restoration Drone for Polluted Waterways
  4. Michael Fielding, Auckland The Urban Rat Project
  5. Steven MacLeod, Auckland A data collective allowing communities to collaborate and share knowledge, leading to better community engagement and more Tui
  6. Sam Lindsay, Auckland Permanent Forest Bond - A Better Way to Finance Permanent Forest in Aotearoa
  7. Dan Ducker, Auckland, Tend your Planet/War On Weeds
  8. Paul White, Far North Te Rarawa Noho Taiao: Growing the next generation of Iwi environmental leaders
  9. Nigel Binks, Hamilton Investigating the weird, wonderful and sometimes freaky biodiversity of the Waikato: Engaging community, iwi and schools in biodiversity science
  10. Kevin Bain, Hamilton One self-resetting trap that kills both Possums and Rats
  11. Ecologist BW, Hamilton Autonomous Weed Eaters
  12. Jennifer Mcguire, Raglan Kiwi Trailblazers
  13. Maha Fier, Waikanae WALL-E 2.0
  14. Joanne Jackson, Martinborough Swimming with e-coli
  15. Chris Muller, Palmerston North The Drone Ranger – an aerial wildlife tracking system
  16. Allan Anderson, Wanganui Hihi Feeders - "Capture, Identify, Advocate: Bringing Species back from the Brink"
  17. Jack O'Carroll, Palmerston North The KOTAHI project
  18. Dani Lebo, Whanganui Make Every School a Forest School
  19. James Prier, Wellington Compost and catch, spreading the predator free movement  
  20. Abby Robertson, Wellington Supermarket for Surplus Food to Reduce NZ's Food Wastage
  21. Gerald Dickinson, Ngaio, Wellington Thermal Imaging to unmask what is in my backyard
  22. Marty Taylor, Wellington Te Wānanga Papa Taiao Pāuaua / Earthcare Enterprise Academies
  23. Pavel Plotinnov, Wellington Ultimate Domestic growing machine
  24. Chris Fink, Wellington Rooftop biodiversity hotspots
  25. Jordan Munn, Upper Hutt, TADS (Thermal Animal Detection Systems)
  26. Manu Caddie, New Zealand Māori Carbon Farming Cooperative
  27. Shannon Weaver, Dunedin Restoring the oceans abundance using seawater electrolysis- a marine conservation initiative
  28. Nathalie Wierdak, Dunedin Guardians of Zealandia
  29. Gemma McGrath, Otago Fluke & Flipper: Enhancing the Hector's Dolphin Sightings App
  30. Jeremy Stead Nelson The Baleen Filter – Preventing Plastic Microfibres from entering our oceans
  31. Christine Cleveland, Nelson Eco-Zoning
  32. Daniel Cutmore, Christchurch D.I.Y SmartGarden
  33. Kirsty Brennan, Christchurch STREAMED – A community-based online water clarity monitoring tool
  34. Grantryan New Zealand (Cacophony project Collaborative high tech solutions to make predator elimination thousands of times more efficient
  35. Squawk Squad Squawk Squad

Congratulations to all the 2017 Awards finalists! 

The Conservation Innovation Awards will reward innovative environmental game-changers. Designed to help innovators fast-track their ideas to development, the Awards cover three categories – Engaging young people and communities, Predator Free New Zealand 2050, and an Open Category. A prize package of $25,000 will be awarded to each category winner. 

The 2017 Awards are supported by The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation, Predator Free 2050 Ltd and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

There are two days left to enter big, bold ideas and new solutions to New Zealand’s greatest environmental challenges, such as freshwater quality, climate change, species decline and invasive pests.

Open until midnight, Sunday 15 October, WWF-New Zealand’s 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards will reward innovative environmental game-changers. A prize package of $25,000 will be awarded to each of the three winners. To submit an idea, visit wwf-nz.crowdicity.com.

As of today, 37 entries have been logged from Kiwis across the country including from Dunedin, Nelson, Auckland, Raglan, Kerikeri, Hamilton, Martinborough, Wellington, Mangonui, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Waikanae. And more entries are welcome.

“Ingenuity and innovation are characteristics that Kiwis are renowned for, so if you have a bright idea that could make a real difference in the fight to protect our precious ecosystems and native species, get in quick and enter this year’s Conservation Innovation Awards,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We’re really keen to hear about any ideas, new technologies or innovative projects that tackle conservation obstacles, like climate, weeds, environmental education, invasive pests, improving water quality and saving native species,” she said. “Innovation can solve some of New Zealand's biggest conservation challenges and capitalise on the biggest opportunities – business as usual is no longer an option.

The Awards are driven by an innovative crowd sourcing application process – where inventors, conservationists and inquiring minds can come together to propose and refine ideas in real time. All New Zealanders can get involved in the Awards by joining the WWF Conservation Innovation community at wwf-nz.crowdicity.com to comment and vote on their favourite ideas. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Engaging young people and communities; Predator Free New Zealand 2050; and an Open Category.

The 2017 Awards are kindly supported by The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation, Predator Free 2050and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. An independent judging panel will be looking for new ideas that have practical application and are game-changers for the environment.

Now in its fourth year, the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington on 22 November.For information about the Awards, past winners and how to enter, visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovation

We’ve been so impressed by the quality and variety of the ideas that are being submitted.

You can get involved and help choose which ones pass to the next level and be eligible to win $25k! Check out some of the ideas that still need your votes to pass to the next level.

Te Wānanga Papa Taiao Pāuaua / Earthcare Enterprise Academies

Squawk Squad

The KOTAHI project

HIHI FEEDERS - "Capture, Identify, Advocate: Bringing Species back from the Brink"

X-Specs

Ultimate Domestic growing machine

 

Check out all the bright ideas for conservation here.

We need your feedback to help find and refine the next game-changers for the environment.

What do you think of these ideas?

Compost and catch, spreading the predator free movement

Collaborative high tech solutions to make predator elimination thousands of times more efficient

Restoration Drone for Polluted Waterways

The Drone Ranger – an aerial wildlife tracking system

Anywhere, anytime DNA diagnostics for conservation

Ur-bins

SWIMMING with E-COLI

Are they really new and unique, do you know of anyone working on something similar, how could they refine their ideas to increase the impact? Are they real game-changers for the environment?

Get voting, and share your opinions, comments and suggestions.

If you’ve got a bright idea - there are just 4 days left to enter the Conservation Innovation Awards! So get your ideas up - your entry needs time to gain feedback and pass the milestones (by midnight, Sunday 15 Ocotber) to be eligible.

Ideas pass milestones by winning enough votes and feedback from the Conservation Innovation community to refine ideas. They can then pass to the next stage and be considered by our judges. Not sure how milestones work? Read all about it here on our How to Meet Milestones blog.

Nga mihi, Louisa

In 2015, the Tolaga Bay-based Uawanui Project was a Conservation Innovation Awards winner, for integrating conservation efforts with economic, social and cultural development and education. Their inspiring idea was He Manawa Whenua - He Oranga Tangata : Healthy Environment – Healthy People.

The project has developed in partnership with the Tolaga Bay Area School, a broad scale sustainability plan for sustainable land management and restoration of the Uawa River Catchment and coast. The $25,000 WWF Awards grant helped the project develop training, capacity building and communication around the wider Uawanui Project.

Chair of the Uawanui Governance Group, Victor Walker, said winning the 2015 award was “fantastic as it provided an opportunity to raise the profile of the project and provided further credibility, recognition and support around the wider vision of what the community is working on”.

Check out this great article in the Gisborne Herald (October 3, 2017).

Now we’re on the look out for 2017 game-changing projects for one of three awards with $25,000 in funding.

We are really keen to hear about any ideas, new technologies or innovative projects that tackle conservation obstacles, like climate, weeds, environmental education, invasive pests, improving water quality and saving native species.

Prizes will be awarded in three categories:

  • engaging young people and communities;
  • Predator Free New Zealand 2050;
  • an open category.

So get your entries in quick to pass the voting milestones by midnight, Sunday 15 October!

We're excited to have so many great ideas submitted in the 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards CIA!

As of today, 17 entries have been logged from across the country, including Dunedin, Nelson, Auckland, Raglan, Kerikeri, Hamilton, Martinborough, Wellington and Waikanae. And we are welcoming many more entries.

Each idea entered now has to pass milestones before midnight Sunday October 15 to be eligible for final judging by our expert panel. As part of the milestones, ideas need to win 30 votes from the Conservation Innovation Community 

We don't want a great idea to get missed because not enough people saw it and voted for it!

So folks, we encourage everyone in the WWF Conservation Innovation community to join in by commenting and voting on these ideas. We want to tap into your knowledge of community conservation and hear what YOU think will work as the next bright new ideas for nature!

And yes, it’s completely achievable to attract 30 votes. Recommended read is from 2015 entrant Paul Stanley Ward - How to win votes and influence conservation innovation who said “if we are a community project that couldn’t rustle 30 votes, then it’s not a great starting point for consideration is it?”

About Milestones
The Awards has 4 milestones that ideas must pass:
• submitted
• support
• originality
• refine

An idea needs 30 votes to pass the support and originality milestones.

To pass milestone 4 (refine), idea authors are asked: "You have great support for your idea already – people think it is viable and original. Have you received any comments or seen any other ideas here that have made you think differently about your idea? What could you improve? Who could you collaborate with?"

How to get ideas through to the judging panel
For entrants
1. Read the Application Guidelines to make sure your idea fits with the purpose and criteria of the awards.

2. The judges will be assessing each idea based solely on: 
- information submitted online to the Conservation Innovation Awards 
- comments on your idea in the Conservation Innovation Hub.

3. Make sure your submission is clear and focused:
- be specific in naming the issue you want to solve
- and how your idea will benefit front-line community conservation.

4. To generate support and pass the voting milestones for your Conservation Innovation Awards idea - a great way to do this is by using social media.
You can do this with the social media Share function on your entry page, adding the recommended #tag and tagging WWF-New Zealand.
Our recommended #tag is #ConservationInnovation
If you Tweet about your entry, please tag @WWFNewZealand
If you Facebook post about your entry, please tag @wwfnewzealand
(WWF-New Zealand is re-sharing/re-Tweeting posts throughout the Awards)
For more details: Making social media work for your #ConservationInnovation idea

For Community

1. Click here to find out How to comment and vote on ideas

2. Check out ideas

3. If you can see an idea really taking off, give it your vote. The idea needs to be, in your opinion, a viable solution to the stated problem. Is this a problem you have experienced? Can you see this solution working for you? Then give it your vote!

4. Is this idea taking a new approach? Have you seen this somewhere before - or is there a similar idea in this challenge? Use the comments function to find out if the idea authors have done their homework! If you think the idea is truly original – give it your vote!

Let’s support the 2017 game-changers for innovation!

 

A 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards finalist has won a Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA) award.

Congratulations to Nelson Mail's Wasp Wipeout which has just been named the best Environmental campaign at the recent PANPA award ceremony in Sydney.

Nelson regional editor Victoria Guild said it was fantastic the campaign had been recognised internationally.

"This is a great reward for the hard work from our team, DOC and the Tasman Environmental Trust.

The Wasp Wipeout campaign is a collaborative conservation project that aims to significantly reduce German and common wasp populations in the Nelson-Tasman region.Wasp Wipeout has also been a finalist in the Environment Ministry's Green Ribbon awards and the Canon Media Awards.

The PANPA are prestigious industry awards that recognise the best work in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia.

For the full story, click here.

There is a game-changing tool on the way in the war against kauri dieback disease which is having a devastating effect on New Zealand’s native forests.
 
Thanks to the 2016 WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards, sustainable land management group Groundtruth is developing a Stop Kauri Dieback app that will support community engagement and management of kauri dieback. The fungus-like disease with no known cure is killing kauri forests in Northland, and kauri could become extinct in some locations without urgent action.
 
Open to 15 October, the 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards is now looking for the next environmental game-changers. To submit an idea, visit wwf-nz.crowdicity.com. A prize package of $25,000 will be awarded to each of the three winners. 

“The Conservation Innovation Awards celebrate Kiwi innovators whose bright ideas, like the Stop Kauri Dieback app, look set to make a real difference in the fight to protect our precious ecosystems and native species,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer. “We welcome big, bold, game-changing ideas, because conservation innovation is imperative.” 

Peter Handford and Daniel Bar-Even are behind the Stop Kauri Dieback app which is being developed in discussion with organisations fighting to save kauri. 

“Kauri dieback disease is having a devastating effect on the giants of our forest,” Groundtruth Director, Peter Handford said. “In the past 10 years, kauri dieback has killed thousands of kauri. 

To save kauri, it is critical to discover where outbreaks are occurring as soon as possible and provide people with simple steps they can take to avoid spreading the disease.”

Mr Handford said the app would support all forest visitors, trampers, walkers and conservation volunteers to identify and record possible sightings – and take simple steps to avoid spreading it – like washing their boots or staying away from the area. 

Mr Handford said winning the 2016 Conservation Innovation Award had made a big difference to this project, providing a combination of credibility and collaboration. “The Awards is a highly productive space with different individuals and organisations working together,” he said.

“The Awards help break down silos and promote collaborative work around innovation.” 

The 2017 Awards are supported by The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation, Predator Free 2050 Ltd and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. For information about the Awards, past winners and how to enter, visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovation

The search is on for big, bold, game-changing ideas and new solutions to New Zealand’s greatest environmental challenges, such as freshwater quality, climate change, species decline and invasive pests.
 
Open from 25 September, WWF-New Zealand’s 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards will reward innovative environmental game-changers. To submit your idea, visit wwf-nz.crowdicity.com. Designed to help innovators fast-track their ideas to development, the Awards cover three categories – Engaging young people and communities, Predator Free New Zealand 2050, and an Open Category. A prize package of $25,000 will be awarded to each category winner. Entries close on 15 October. 

“The Conservation Innovation Awards celebrate Kiwi innovators whose bright ideas will make a real difference in the fight to protect our precious ecosystems and native species,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are looking for new ideas that have practical application and that are game changers for the environment. 

“We encourage Kiwi innovators from all walks of life – from research labs to garden sheds and everywhere in-between – to apply their creativity and come up with ideas, new technologies or innovative projects that will aid the work of frontline conservation throughout the country and tackle conservation obstacles. 

“Ingenuity and innovation are characteristics that Kiwis are renowned for and the Conservation Innovation Awards has supported a number of innovative environmental solutions, including a commercial wasp bait, a freshwater testing system and an app to help kauri conservation.” 

The 2017 Awards are supported by The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation, Predator Free 2050 Ltd and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. 

The Awards are driven by an innovative crowd sourcing application process – where inventors, conservationists and inquiring minds can come together to propose and refine ideas in real time. 

“The power of the crowd is gaining momentum and for the Conservation Innovation Awards this collective approach means that ideas for furthering conservation work, which will ultimately benefit all New Zealanders, can be fine-tuned to their full potential,” Ms Esterhazy said. 

Entrants need to submit their ideas as soon as they can at wwf-nz.crowdicity.com 

The 2016 Awards attracted a record 41 entries from across the country. Now in its fourth year, the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington on 22 November. For information about the Awards, past winners and how to enter, visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovation

WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards winner DroneCounts is taking wildlife tracking to the next level in the urgent fight to stem the tragic loss of species, both locally and globally.

Thought to be a world first, DroneCounts can GPS track and map the location of tagged endangered species, providing time-synchronised data about the target species’ behaviour to assist conservation management. The system can also be used to track wildlife poachers.

DroneCounts took flight after winning $25,000 through the 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards, which enabled the team to further refine the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design and build a flexible information gathering system that is more efficient, cheaper and saves time and energy.

The Conservation Innovation Awards celebrate Kiwi innovators whose bright ideas, like DroneCounts, look set to make a real difference in the fight to protect our precious ecosystems and native species,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer. “We welcome big, bold, game-changing ideas.”

Open from 25 September to 15 October, the 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards ​will ​reward innovative environmental game-changers. To submit an idea, visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovation. A prize package of $25,000 will be awarded to each of the three winners. The 2017 Awards are supported by The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

“Business as usual is no longer an option,” Ms Esterhazy said. “Our native species extinction rates in New Zealand are among the highest in the world. To reverse these trends, conservation innovation is imperative. We must seek transformational change and rapidly create new solutions. Together, we can make a difference and deliver world-leading conservation innovation!”

The men behind the DroneCounts invention are Auckland-based Philip Solaris (robotic aviation company X-craft) and John Sumich (Ark in the Park and Habitat Te Henga).This innovative idea was sparked when they realised traditional approaches to wildlife monitoring were severely limited by old-fashioned technology, vegetation, distance, terrain, weather and operator safety.

Mr Solaris said the DroneCounts aircraft operated as an ‘on-call’ data collector, providing crucial data in the most efficient way without the need of human intervention.The capabilities, opportunities and applications of this new system are seemingly limitless – it can operate on land, in air or water, at night, in extreme temperatures and weather conditions. The system can be customised to track wildlife, livestock or even emergency services personnel conducting search and rescue missions after disaster events.

Before commercialisation, the DroneCounts team wants to shrink the size of the unit with custom-built componentry, so the end product is the most advanced system possible. To get this incredible tool into production and out in the environment making a difference, X-craft is actively seeking investors.

Mr Solaris said the Conservation Innovation Award had definitely made a difference. “The Award has opened doors, where previously people were sceptical,” he said. “Those doors can be difficult to open sometimes and the Award has broken down some barriers and opened minds to what is achievable.”

For information about the Awards, past winners and how to enter, visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovation

A game-changer solution to New Zealand’s freshwater emergency, WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards winner the RiverWatch Water Sensor is heading towards commercial market production.

As a 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards winner, $25,000 core funding was provided to develop the RiverWatch prototype which remotely monitors and records freshwater quality, where it can be used by hundreds of community groups to collect much-needed data from rivers, lakes and streams. This simple floating device is equipped with unique probes which monitor data, including pH level, temperature, conductivity, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen.

Open from 25 September to 15 October, the 2017 Conservation Innovation Awards will seek out and reward innovative game-changers for conservation. To find out how to submit an idea visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovation.

A prize package of $25,000 will be awarded to each of the three winners. The 2017 Awards are supported by The Tindall FoundationDepartment of ConservationCallaghan Innovation and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.

“The Conservation Innovation Awards help bring amazing ideas to life – such as the RiverWatch Water Sensor which provides a solution to New Zealand’s worsening river and freshwater quality, and could have a major impact on the restoration of our freshwater for generations to come,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer.

“From multiple scientific reports, we know that our freshwater is being polluted and our rivers and lakes are in trouble,” Ms Esterhazy said. “This is a national crisis and requires a national level response, including accurate and timely water monitoring. Rivers are the lifeblood of our country and communities deserve and need to know the condition of their waterways. Clean, safe waterways are essential for the health of people, wildlife and economy.”

The RiverWatch Water Sensor has been developed by Water Action Initiative New Zealand (WAI NZ) in collaboration with students from Victoria University of Wellington's School of Engineering and Computer Science. Behind the initiative is South Wairarapa farmer Grant Muir and his son James Muir.

“Water quality is really important to many New Zealanders,” Grant Muir said. “Recent surveys show that 93% of Kiwis believe there is a freshwater crisis in New Zealand and something must be done about it.“This Water Sensor will give community members the opportunity to take action and monitor the water quality in their local rivers, giving real time data on the health of the waterways.”

Mr Muir said the Water Sensor logged data 24/7, and was easy to operate, portable and inexpensive. Any incident reports on waterways can be automated by the website and emailed to the appropriate authorities for action.

RiverWatch has already gained support from water scientists, regional and local councils, citizen scientists, community groups, iwi organisations, farmers and fishermen – within New Zealand and internationally.

“We already have orders waiting and there is interest from overseas groups involved in water monitoring,” Mr Muir said.“There is significant interest in modifying the sensor to work in salt water, especially from inshore fisheries that are in crisis due to increased sedimentation. We are working with the Institute of Environmental Research Ltd and other data collection agencies to develop a third version which tests for water born E. coli pathogens and water soluble nitrates.”

Mr Muir said the Water Sensor was designed for New Zealand conditions. “It is solar-powered and able to be remotely monitored, and is suited for temporary or permanent site applications,” he said. “Income from the sale of RiverWatch products will go directly back to conservation innovation, research and development for future generations of New Zealanders.”

WAI NZ is now seeking funding to cover costs to get version three of the sensor to commercial market production through the crowd funding platform PledgeMe and other sources.

Winning the Conservation Innovation Award helped us finalise the prototype, raise the RiverWatch profile, engage people in Aotearoa's water quality issue and open doors to further funding,” Mr Muir said. “Without WWF and these Awards, we would not be in this exciting space. I encourage people who have an idea that will make a difference across anything environmental to put their ideas forward and enter the Conservation Innovation Awards.”

For information about the Awards, past winners and how to enter, visit www.wwf.org.nz/innovationYou can support the development of the RiverWatch Water Tester at www.riverwatch.nz/

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