IBM and Taronga Conservation Society Australia Collaborate to Improve Critical Conservation Research Across State

IBM and Taronga Conservation Society Australia to deploy new cloud and analytics technology to better understand the impacts climate is having on wildlife
Oct 27, 2020

Sydney, Australia, 27 October 2020: Sydney: NSW Minister for Environment, The Hon. Matt Kean MP, today announced a new collaboration between IBM and the Taronga Conservation Society Australia that will see IBM’s cloud, data and analytics technology used to improve conservation research across the state.

As an expected outcome of this new collaboration, the Taronga Conservation Society Australia will be able to better monitor the impacts weather and climate are having on the environment and the wildlife that inhabit it. This solution will be designed and built by experts volunteering for IBM’s Service Corps pro bono consulting program, involving a team of IBMers from around the world, harnessing their professional skills.

Using data that is collected in real-time as well as historical weather data and satellite imagery from The Weather Company, IBM will create a prototype that will help researchers better understand how a changing climate and associated environmental impacts will alter critical habitat for threatened species and inform how to protect them in the future.  Work will be carried out in phases beginning today and to be completed by February 2021.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said, “In a race against time to help some of the most threatened species in our state, it’s important experts of all disciplines come together and use their skills so our children and grandchildren can enjoy the incredible beauty and biodiversity of our natural environment.”

“I thank IBM Service Corps for selecting this initiative, and for giving their time and expertise to work in collaboration with Taronga.”

Earlier this year, IBM announced a $1 million commitment that included cash, in-kind support and pro-bono consulting to help in the prevention, management and recovery of our bushfire-affected communities. The commitment also included the deployment of IBM Service Corps which works with non-profit, government, academic and small business leaders on civic, social, education, economic and environmental initiatives.

IBM Managing Director for AN/Z, Katrina Troughton, said “We are excited to work with the NSW Government and Taronga Conservation Society Australia on this incredibly important project. IBM will carry out this pro-bono work virtually using IBMs top talent based in Australia, India and the United States. The team will draw on IBM software and IBM Cloud solutions to create a concept that will improve conservation research based on past weather patterns and future predictions.”

Taronga Conservation Society Australia Chief Executive and Director, Cameron Kerr, said: “We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and, in Australia alone, more than 1700 species and ecological communities are known to be threatened or at risk of extinction. The answers to the pressures faced by our living planet will not be found in a business as usual approach, but in innovation and collaboration as embodied by this program and these leaders in their field. As we work actively towards securing a shared future for people and wildlife, I am so thankful for the support of IBM Service Corps who will ensure our scientists have the best data and the best tools available to them to continue their essential work.”  

Since its launch in 2008, more than 4,750 IBM employees have participated in the IBM Service Corps, completing across 44 countries. In 2019 alone, more than 750 employees worked on projects designed to improve education, health, economic development and community resiliency across the world.

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