WWF New Zealand’s on the look out for next environmental game changer

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Are you an inventor, an innovator, a creator? Could $25,000 help turn your idea into reality?

WWF-New Zealand, with supporters The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, is on the search—from research labs to garden sheds and everywhere in between—for new ideas that could positively impact the environment.

Open from 25 September to 15 October, the 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.

“Business as usual is no longer an option,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer. “Clearly the environment is being stretched beyond its capacity, and that is why WWF-New Zealand is calling for environmental game-changers that create positive impacts for the environment.”

“Ingenuity and innovation are characteristics that Kiwis are renowned for, so if you have a great idea that could make a difference to the way communities can protect our special places and wildlife, enter this year’s Conservation Innovation Awards.

“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.”

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 2016 Awards attracted a record 41 entries from innovators and creators across the country. Last year’s award-winning ideas were: DroneCounts, taking wildlife tracking to the next level; the RiverWatch Water Sensor which monitors freshwater quality using real time data; and Stop Kauri Dieback, an app which will allow people to record and map dieback sightings.

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

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About Author

Louisa is the Communications Manager for WWF-New Zealand (World Wide Fund for Nature). She has extensive experience in the areas of media, communications and public relations. Her pen, camera and sense of humour have led her to wonderful work locations throughout Australia, Canada, USA, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and Peru. She was raised on a sheep and cattle farm in Outback Australia. Her specialty sectors are the environment (forest/marine/species conservation and climate change), crisis communications (biosecurity, floods and cyclones), and agriculture (livestock and broad-acre farming). She is an Open Water-accredited diver and has explored underwater ecosystems in the Solomon Islands and Cambodia.

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