Activating Africa

Finding conservation solutions using technology, education and out of the box thinking that uplift the local community.

Michael Grover

Age 31, South Africa

PROJECT: Finding conservation solutions using technology, education and out of the box thinking that uplift the local community.

Get in touch with Michael Grover and Activating Africa by emailing info@activiatingafrica.com

Tell us about the work you are doing to create a wilder world.
Activating Africa works in local communities on the border of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, working on options to uplift the local communities by identifying opportunities to get involved in the wildlife economy. The focus is getting conservationists to value and uplift community assets so that communities will uplift and value conservation assets. These projects are all done sustain ably using out of the box techniques, technology and community empowerment tools. The communities boarding the conservation areas have the greatest influence on them and therefore need to want to be come the guardians. Conservation starts outside the fence of the conservation area!

What are five (5) of your short term goals to accomplish in the next 1-2 years?
1. Set up a sustainable holistic management project for livestock in the area that will contribute to biodiversity and conservation
2. Educate local school children on the benefits they may get from conservation through experience based learning inside the conservation areas
3. Empower local small businesses to benefit from the wildlife economy
4. Develop an interactive community database and app for information sharing between conservation areas and communities
5. Promote the use of smart phone apps in the fight against rhino poaching

What are five (5) of your long term goals to accomplish in the next 5-10 years?
1. Have complete benefit sharing in the wildlife economy for communities
2. Stop rhino poaching in the area
3. Allow every school child in the area the opportunity to experience wildlife and engage with it.
4. Change current community perceptions of wildlife
5. Use holistic management to restore damaged conservation areas

How can others help you accomplish these goals?
1. Help out with out of the box ideas of new conservation visions.
2. Donate old technology hardware such as smart phones and tablets to be used for training
3. Donate your time or resource that may benefit the cause

How can the public get involved with your project/work?
Visit our website or email us at info@activatingafrica.com.

What have been some successes you have had?
1. Developed and implemented a data collection app for rhino anti poaching teams to monitor poaching incidents
2. Train 72 local small business owners in the benefits of the wildlife economy and give them an experience based opportunity.
3. Set up a local community database

What are some lessons you have learned/what would you have done differently?
Every conservation issue has solutions that are outside our current thinking (that is why they are problems). So think outside the box and don’t be afraid to lead the way. Technology can change conservation if you embrace it.

Have there been any major (or minor) milestones in your work?
Attending WILD10 in Spain and representing CoalitionWILD as a Wilder World Challenge winner.
Receiving an award from www.gocanvas.com for the best not for profit user of 2013 and presenting on rhino poaching at a gala event at National Geographic in Washington, DC
Get in touch with Michael Grover and Activating Africa by emailing info@activiatingafrica.com

Local communities in conservation areas know more than you think - don't be afraid to engage with them and ask questions!

Solutions to the worlds problems start by listening to the people that feel the worlds heart beat!