KOTA KINABALU: Around 100 participants from Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan will gather here this weekend to develop technological tools to fight wildlife trafficking.
This gathering - which is being called the "Zoohackathon" - will run on Saturday (Nov 2) and Sunday (Nov 3) at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and is expected to address issues concerning orangutans, sun bears, and pygmy elephants, among other wildlife.
Initially a project supported by the US government’s Task Force on Combating Wildlife Trafficking, the Zoohackathon has grown throughout the world to engage developers, designers, project managers, and subject matter experts to create applications, systems, and tools to help to solve real and existing problems.
Zoohackathon solutions can also take the form of websites, mobile apps, website extensions, online databases and software, said the US Embassy in a statement.
“The US is proud to partner with the energetic young Malaysians and Indonesians on such a critically important endeavour. WWF Malaysia, UMS, Kinabalu Koders, Sabah Wildlife Department, and AT&T are also partners of this event,” said the Embassy in a statement on Friday (Nov 1)
The event will see Sabah Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob attending the closing ceremony of the event on Sunday, where the winners will be announced.
Along with Kota Kinabalu, Zoohackathon events will take place in more than 20 other cities worldwide.
Local winners from each city will compete for a grand prize, which will be announced in December.
The global winner wins a prize and will potentially receive support to further develop and deploy their solution.
Among other cities to host the Zoohackathon 2019 are Gaborone (Botswana), Moscow (Russia), Geneva (Switzerland), Helsinki (Finland), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Hong Kong (China), Quezon City (Philippines) and San Diego in the US.
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