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Building capacity to protect wildlife and wildland across Africa

Augmentum has entered into a partnership with Smart Partnership to build capacity and empower communities in Africa to protect wildlife and wildlands using the SMART approach.

Protected areas are the cornerstone of nature conservation. Despite their vital role in the prevention of species extinctions, protected areas continue to be poorly resourced and managed, with less than a quarter providing effective protection. In an effort to make protected areas more successful at preventing the loss of nature, nine leading conversation organizations joined forces in 2011 to create the Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART) partnership.

The SMART approach to support conservation areas includes the provision of tools, capacity building and empower a community of conservation practitioners. The core of SMART is a conservation technology platform, with desktop, mobile and cloud-based components. This platform allows conservationists to easily collect, analyze and act on a wide range of data relevant for protecting wildlife and wild places. The SMART platform is free, easy to use, and has made substantial contributions to nature conservation efforts in over 70 countries and 1,000 sites worldwide (see map above, ownership of SMART).

In Africa, SMART is implemented in 230 sites and landscapes across 28 countries. National governments of seven African nations (Gabon, Congo, DR Congo, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Uganda) have chosen to implement SMART across their protected area systems. Private landholders, community conservancies, and game reserves in Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe among other countries are also using SMART.

The SMART partnership is being supported by Augmentum to:

  • Build the capacity of Rangers and other SMART users in Africa

  • Connect and empower the SMART community in Africa to protect threatened fauna and flora.

Over the next three years, with Augmentum’s support, SMART will transform the capacity of conservationists in Africa to protect wildlife. This will include:

  • Training of 1,000 rangers and other SMART users through the development of comprehensive new training modules delivered through interactive online and in-person training

  • Regional training to at least 120 trainers and advanced users benefitting 50 protected areas and community conserved areas in Africa

  • A new interactive online portal to catalyze capacity-building efforts and foster the next generation of site- and regionally-focused SMART leaders and champions


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