Identifying technology solutions to bring conservation into the innovation era

Gwenllian Iacona*, Anurag Ramachandra, Jennifer McGowan, Alasdair Davies, Lucas Joppa, Lian Pin Koh, Eric Fegraus, Edward Game, Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita, Rob Harcourt, Karlina Indraswari, José J. Lahoz-Monfort, Jessica L. Oliver, Hugh P. Possingham, Adrian Ward, David W. Watson, James E. M. Watson, Brendan A. Wintle, Iadine Chadès

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    75 Downloads (Pure)


    Innovation has the potential to enable conservation science and practice to keep pace with the escalating threats to global biodiversity, but this potential will only be realized if such innovations are designed and developed to fulfill specific needs and solve well-defined conservation problems. We propose that business-world strategies for assessing the practicality of innovation can be applied to assess the viability of innovations, such as new technology, for addressing biodiversity conservation challenges. Here, we outline a five-step, “lean start-up” based approach for considering conservation innovation from a business-planning perspective. Then, using three prominent conservation initiatives – Marxan (software), Conservation Drones (technology support), and Mataki (wildlife-tracking devices) – as case studies, we show how considering proposed initiatives from the perspective of a conceptual business model can support innovative technologies in achieving desired conservation outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)591-598
    Number of pages8
    JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
    Issue number10
    Early online date2 Oct 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright by the Ecological Society of America. Iacona, G. et al., Identifying technology solutions to bring conservation into the innovation era. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2019; 17( 10): 591– 598, doi:10.1002/fee.2111.


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