The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are hosting the first-ever Zoohackathon in the Philippines.
The Philippines is a biodiversity powerhouse claimed to have the greatest concentration per unit area of unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world--such as species of pangolin, raptors, hornbills, exotic birds, reptiles, amphibians and corals--with new species continually discovered by scientists. Despite this immense richness in flora and fauna, the country remains a biodiversity hotspot, brought by rampant poaching, trafficking and illegal trade of wildlife species and byproducts. Not only is the Philippines a source country of trafficked wildlife; it has become an ideal transit point for illicit networks, especially in Asia, and a growing destination for illegally traded wildlife that end up as food, medicine, pets or ornaments.
It is estimated that the Philippines loses US$1 billion a year in economic and ecological value due to illegal wildlife trade. This crisis is further compounded by low awareness and involvement of the public in reporting wildlife trafficking, and by limited manpower to enforce environmental laws and to patrol protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries. These are the challenges that participants in Zoohackathon Philippines will tackle as they come up with innovative digital tools and solutions to contribute to the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
When: November 8-10, 2019
Where: Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, Quezon City, Metro Manila (Google Map link here)
How to Join: Visit bit.ly/ZoohackathonPitch to learn how to submit a pitch. Deadline for submissions is on October 20, 2019. Top 12 teams with the best submissions will qualify for Zoohackathon Philippines on November 8 to 10, 2019 and will compete for top prizes of up to US$9,600 worth of funding assistance to further develop and scale up their Zoohackathon outputs.