Linköping University contributes to Clinton Global Initiative
Putting a stop to the poaching of rhinos in Kenya is a priority project in the Clinton Global Initiative. The project is led by the Stimson Center in Washington DC, with Security Link at Linköping University as technology partner.
In recent years more and more rhinos and elephants have fallen victim to poachers. 100,000 elephants and thousands of rhinos have been killed. And it is not only the animals who have been killed, but also around 1,000 African wardens. In the East African countries, an increasingly hopeless fight is being fought against well-equipped criminals and the organised illegal trade in horns, which have a higher price per kilo than gold and cocaine and an almost comparable turnover on the black market.
In the winter of 2013-2014 the Stimson Center, a think tank based in Washington DC, and experts on security technology from Security Link at Linköping University conducted a study of how technology solutions can be used to help the wardens in the parks and reserves to protect Kenya’s rhinos from poachers. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) saw the project and invited it to be a member. At CGI’s global conference, recently held in New York, it was revealed that the project to stop poaching of animals threatened with extinction in East Africa will be one of CGI’s priority projects.
As official technology partner to Stimson in CGI, Security Link has taken the initiative on the “Wildlife Security” project to develop new smart technology solutions and to create partnership with Swedish industry. Security Link, in conjunction with Swedish and foreign companies, will now become a technology supplier to large-scale boundary and infrastructure projects run by the Stimson Center.
“The project is a direct response to a number of major transnational challenges that globalisation has brought in its wake where defence, security and development meld into one another. Broad collaboration and using new technology correctly are an important part of the solution. Through the work against poaching, we want to show that we have a model that works and that can be spread and used in a variety of areas and other growth economies,” says Johan Bergenäs, project leader at the Stimson Centre, who since this spring has also been working at Security Link.
As a first step, Wildlife Security is developing apps for smartphones that will help the wardens to navigate and to report tracks of animals and poachers. The telephones also work as security alarms and as efficient communication between the guards and their command. Sensor and radar systems will be placed out in the reserve and unmanned aircraft can be used to monitor the boundaries and open spaces of the reserve. The information is sent in real time to the wardens’ telephones.
“The apps will be a major step forward for the wardens; their daily lives will be made easier and the information will be spread and stored in more efficiently. When the first sensor systems are integrated next year it will be a further step forward for the safety of the animals and the wardens,” says Professor Fredrik Gustafsson, director of Security Link and the initiator of Wildlife Security.
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Last updated: 2017-02-13