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Monday, 11 December 2017 12:59 pm

Planet-saving inventions win awards

Dec 6th, 2017 | By | Category: Radio News

From left: Richard and Hayley Munn, parents of Jordan Munn with Mikayla Munn and her parents Graeme and Sue Hutton with Jordan and Mikayla’s award for Conservation Innovation.

New innovations in pest control and water contamination testing have been recognised with awards.

The annual Conservation Innovation awards have been run by the WWF since 2014.

Three organisations were honoured with $25,000 each to help get their ideas “out of the garage.”

They are: a thermal animal detection system to find invasive pests, an electronic, artificial intelligence pest monitor and a water-borne real-time E coli sensor.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says innovations addressing pest control are desperately needed.

WWF Chair Dr Morgan Williams says although pest control is vital, New Zealand needs to look at changing attitudes around conservation in the future.

As well as the three main awards, the WWF awarded a special commendation to The Squawk Squad, a crowdfunded trapping platform.

During Conservation Week, they ran a competition for the best Conservation Classroom, where 1500 classrooms competed to recruit the most people to sponsor pest traps.

The Squawk Squad reached out to 40,000 children across 800 schools using social media, and a smartphone app.

Dr Williams says social innovations are just as important as digital ones.

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