Launch of Bitcoin Fundraiser for Wildlife Rangers
Press Release – NEW YORK, NY – August 16, 2018 – Today, Wild Tomorrow Fund in partnership with the Bitgive Foundation, announced the launch of its first Bitcoin campaign to raise funds for a wildlife crime scene training program for rangers in Africa.
Using the Bitgive Foundation’s online GiveTrack platform, individuals can donate their bitcoin to help protect elephants and rhinos in southern Africa. The project funds being raised will enable Wild Tomorrow Fund to implement a crime-scene forensics training program for rangers on the frontlines of the wildlife poaching crisis in Africa.
Over 50 elephants are killed each and every day across Africa for their tusks. According to the recent Great Elephant Census, 30% of all remaining African savannah elephants were killed in the seven year period between 2007 and 2014. In South Africa, home to 80% of Africa’s remaining rhinos, poaching has escalated from 13 killed in 2007 to over 7,425 rhinos slaughtered violently for their horns in the past 10 years. The poaching epidemic must be fought on many fronts, including the successful prosecution of poachers. In wildlife reserves, crime scene forensic evidence collection falls on the shoulders of rangers who have received little to no training.
Donated bitcoin funds will be used to train 20 rangers from five wildlife reserves across four African countries (South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic of Congo) in crime scene management and forensics.
The training will be facilitated by a team of wildlife and forensics experts from New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, who are donating their time and funding their own airfares to travel to South Africa to conduct the training. The four-day program will include the basics of crime scene forensics such as securing the crime scene, fingerprinting, crime scene photography, footprint casting, ballistics analysis and DNA collection.
The training program will include the donation of five fully stocked forensic kits for each of the ranger teams. This will ensure that once the training has been conducted, the wildlife rangers will be able to put their training to work, with the forensics equipment and supplies purchased with Bitcoin. Where possible, Wild Tomorrow Fund will use Bitcoin for project purchases, giving maximum transparency and real-time accountability for the received bitcoin donations.
“It’s exciting to enter into a new world of fundraising, reaching an audience of tech-savvy donors who want to use their Bitcoins for good”, said Wendy Hapgood, co-founder of Wild Tomorrow Fund who left her career in electronic foreign exchange to focus full-time on wildlife conservation. “To protect elephants and rhinos, we need to fight wildlife crime. To do this, we need rangers who have been trained to correctly collect forensic evidence at poaching crime scenes. This evidence can then be be used to keep poachers behind bars in a region where the conviction rate for those arrested is very low.”
“We are very pleased to be working with Wild Fund Tomorrow to support their important work.” said Bitgive founder, Connie Gallippi. “This is the first wildlife-focused project on GiveTrack, and we are excited to gain the bitcoin and blockchain community’s support for this important cause and to leverage this revolutionary technology to support wildlife rangers and engage donors with more direct involvement on the progress of the project over time.”
The Wild Tomorrow Fund Givetrack project is live at https://www.givetrack.org/view/62/wildlife-crime-scene-training-for-african-ranger
About Wild Tomorrow Fund www.wildtomorrowfund.org
Wild Tomorrow Fund is a registered wildlife conservation charity both in the United States and South Africa. Wild Tomorrow Fund is dedicated to the protection of threatened and endangered species and the habitats they depend on for survival. Wild Tomorrow Fund works on the ground in southern Africa with a vision for a world in which wildlife habitats are expanded and protected, and where existing reserves have the resources needed to keep their animals safe.
About the Bitgive Foundation www.bitgivefoundation.com
Founded in 2013, BitGive is the first Bitcoin 501(c)(3) nonprofit, giving it tax exemption status at the federal level in the United States. BitGive has built a positive philanthropic representative organization for the Bitcoin and Blockchain industry, bridging the gap between an innovative technology and its practical applications for nonprofits and humanitarian work in the developing world. BitGive has established strong partnerships and raised funds with well-known nonprofits including Save the Children, The Water Project, TECHO, Medic Mobile, and more.
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