Newswise – Windhoek, Namibia, March 8, 2024 – The SMART Partnership is pleased to announce the first SMART Global Congress from March 10-14, 2024 in Windhoek, Namibia. Founded in 2011, the SMART Partnership is the world’s leading provider of conservation management solutions, offering an integrated suite of powerful tools and services to help conservation professionals improve management effectiveness and better protect wildlife.

The partnership includes: Frankfurt Zoological Society, North Carolina Zoo, Panthera, Re:wild, WCS, Wildlife Protection Solutions, World Wildlife Fund and Zoological Society of London.

The SMART Global Congress marks a significant milestone in SMART’s nearly 15-year history. For the first time ever, the partnership brings together the global SMART community to share experiences and lessons learned. More than 300 SMART practitioners from more than 55 different countries will participate.

Notable speakers at the Congress, including a high-profile keynote speech by Mr. Teofilus Nghitila, Executive Director of the Namibian Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Tourism, as well as several other renowned conservation professionals from around the world, include:

  • Dr. Emma Stokes, Vice President Field Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society: Dr. Stokes oversees the Wildlife Conservation Society’s global portfolio of regional programs in nearly 60 countries and the world’s oceans.
  • Dr. Madhu Rao, Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas: Dr. Rao brings over 25 years of experience in designing and supporting the implementation of conservation programs across Asia.
  • Dr. Tara Stoinski, President, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund: Dr. Stoinski has been researching gorillas for more than two decades and is the author of over 150 scientific publications and books.
  • Dr. Supagit Vinitpornsawan, Director of SMART Patrol Monitoring Center, Ministry of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Thailand: Dr. Vinitpornsawan leads the national SMART Center for DNP in Thailand.
  • Rohit Singh, Director of Conservation and Wildlife Area Management and Governance, World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Mr. Singh has been working on the issues of conservation, protected area management and illegal wildlife trade for 19 years and has been instrumental in driving the agenda of professionalization of the ranger force worldwide .
  • Jonathan Palmer, WCS Executive Director of Conservation Technology and SMART Chief Technology Officer, who has led the development of SMART technology since its inception.
  • Dr. Richard Bergl, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, Education and Science, North Carolina Zoo: Dr. Bergl has worked in wildlife conservation across Africa for 25 years and is one of the founding members and current chair of the SMART Partnership.

The congress will take place at the Mercure Hotel and Conference Center on the corner of Auas ​​​​and Aviation Road, Windhoek, Namibia, 9000 WINDHOEK, Namibia.

Media are warmly invited. To participate, journalists should contact Nathalia Santana ([email protected]+1 917 586 0129.)

Since its inception in 2011, in response to the alarming decline in global wildlife populations, the SMART Partnership has aimed to provide the tools and training critical to effective protected area management. SMART originally focused on improving wildlife conservation by enabling data-driven decision-making in terrestrial protected areas. Thanks to its performance and flexibility, SMART has been able to continuously develop. SMART is currently used in over 1,200 locations in more than 100 countries and has become an essential resource for protecting global biodiversity.

Current international developments underline the importance and impact potential of tools like SMART. The new Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, signed by nearly 200 countries at COP15, commits nations to protecting at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030. SMART will play a critical role in effectively managing these sites and monitoring and reporting key data on progress toward these ambitious goals.

The impact of SMART now extends far beyond terrestrial locations. It is used by local and indigenous communities, field researchers and even facility managers. Its applications span diverse environments, including marine areas, deserts, the Arctic, and globally focused climate change mitigation projects. With tens of thousands of conservationists around the world using SMART, the tool has become an integral part of developing data-driven strategies for effective biodiversity conservation.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

WCS brings together the power of its zoos and an aquarium in New York City, as well as a global conservation program in more than 50 countries, to fulfill its mission to save wildlife and wild places. WCS runs the world’s largest conservation program, protecting more than 50 percent of the Earth’s known biodiversity. in partnership with governments, indigenous peoples, local communities and the private sector. The four zoos and aquarium (the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium) welcome more than 3.5 million visitors each year and inspire generations to care for nature . Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, the organization is led (as of June 1, 2023) by President and CEO Monica P. Medina. Visit: Consequences: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: +1 (347) 840-1242. Listen to the WCS Wild Audio podcast HERE.

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