Nestled between the peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, many people consider Arusha to be the safari capital of the world – one of the places to visit if you want to see the African wild. So it’s perhaps appropriate, then, that no less than 600 people tasked with making sure there is something of that wild left to see will be descending on Arusha to take part in the African section of the Society of Conservation Biology & the Association of Tropical Biology’s joint meeting in early June.
Going on a safari is one way of learning about this valuable wilderness, but not everyone can afford and is able to do that. Besides, when it comes to conserving Africa’s natural heritage, the threats and issues are usually much more complex and comprehensive than what can be seen from the back of a safari truck. One of the reasons MAPA will be travelling to the meeting will be to give the men and women who do understand this complexity the tools to communicate these issues and threats to the general public, and each other.
Off the back of the enthusiasm that we had for our South African Google Geo-workshops, we will be taking another round of overview sessions and workshops to this gathering of conservation practitioners and tropical biologists. During the conference, we will run a daily hour-long overview session of the different Google Geo tools, focusing on a different tool every day. We will also host a hands-on two-day workshop after the conference, during which we will introduce participants to using Google Earth & Maps, Fusion Tables and Open data kit (mobile data collection) to aid decision making, publicize work, and create maps for their organisations and projects. The workshops are kindly being co-sponsored by Google Earth Outreach and will be offered free of charge to conference delegates and (for the two-day workshop only) other conservation practitioners active in the area.
MAPA itself is, of course, in the business of making conservation more visible, so we will also be talking about some of the ways conservation practitioners can use our map and tools in conjunction with the tools we’ll be talking about in the workshops to visualize their work.
Are you going to ATBC & SCB Africa in Arusha? Visit our workshop site to find out more and register for one of the sessions! We can’t wait to meet you!