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MIL OSI – Headline: Seeking NZ conservation innovators – 7 October

The 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards are underway with great entries coming in from across the country.

Seeking NZ Conservation Innovators

Innovation can solve some of New Zealand’s biggest conservation challenges and capitalise on the biggest opportunities.

Open until 14 October, WWF’s 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards celebrate innovation and collaboration, with the aim to find and support the best innovative ideas for conservation from talented and passionate Kiwis. These awards aim to promote, motivate and reward innovation within community, iwi, researchers, and businesses. Entries need to be submitted via wwf-nz.crowdicity.com Prize packages of $25,000 will be awarded to each of the three winning entries.

This year, we have some interesting ideas coming through, ranging from a trapping programme for school children to barcoding whitebait to elevated radio tracking for kiwi. There have been 27 entries so far from Kaipara Harbour, Thames, Auckland, Paekakairki, Christchurch, Golden Bay, Wellington, Motueka, Katikati, Stewart Island, Marlborough Sounds, Te Puke, Martinborough, Motueka, Nelson, and Rotorua.

“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,” said Michele Frank, WWF’s Head of New Zealand Projects.

“We’re really keen to hear about any ideas, gadgets, tools or innovative projects that tackle conservation obstacles, like controlling invasive pests, improving water quality or saving native species,” Ms Frank said.

The Awards, supported by The Tindall Foundation, are driven by an innovative crowd sourcing application process – where inventors, conservationists, inquiring minds and ideas people can propose, critique and refine ideas in real time through an online ideas platform.

The Awards have met with strong, supportive feedback, including from 2014 runner up Rachel Fewster, Auckland University, who said “The Conservation Innovation Awards are a great way of sharing ideas for conservation around New Zealand and building a community of conservation innovators”.

Award winners have achieved considerable success with their projects including Vespex® a wasp-killing bait, and innovative iwi-led restoration project Uawanui Project.

Notes to editors:
•          WWF-New Zealand’s Conservation Innovation Awards are open from 26 September to 14 October
•          Information on how to apply and judging criteria available at wwf.org.nz/innovation and wwf-nz.crowdicity.com
•          Innovating for Conservation – the story of WWF-New Zealand’s 2014 Conservation Innovation Awards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_zC7yddp2A
•          WWF’s Conservation Innovation Awards 2015 – highlights from the night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyzLeRF21DE

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.