The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous challenges to conservationists globally, requiring innovation and resilience to continue their work. A new study uncovers the depth of these impacts and the invaluable role that technology has played in sustaining efforts to preserve and protect our wildlife and natural ecosystems during this time. The study assesses the overall state of conservation in light of the pandemic, the creative solutions technology has enabled, and the potential lasting impact of both on the field.
While the study’s results reveal some of the detrimental impacts on conservation over the last eighteen months, they also highlight the increasingly critical role technology is playing as a force for good and how it might transform conservation moving forward. The study’s key findings include:
- The pandemic has had an outsize impact on the work of conservationists. The impacts are wide-ranging, including less ability to engage in fieldwork (67%), decreased budgets (54%), and increased illegal wildlife activity such as trade, poaching, or fishing (50%).
- Access to conservation technology has carried conservationists through the COVID-19 pandemic. 81% agree conservation technology has helped them adapt or respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
- As in many sectors, the pandemic increased conservation’s transition to a more tech-reliant future. Two in three (65%) will use conservation technology more in the future because of COVID-19 and just under half (42%) will allocate more money toward conservation technology tools and subscriptions.