How Crowdfunding Is Helping Biodiversity Conservation Around the World
If we were to choose one great thing about crowdfunding, it will most definitely be its ability to make people and organizations come together and help great causes. Yes, crowdfunding surely helped startup businesses to achieve success – those individuals with great ideas but lacking the money to realize them. Gone were the days when talent and great ideas are wasted because of lack of funding. But crowdfunding could not get any better than when it came time to fund great causes, such as biodiversity conservation.
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity may sound like something so scientific it’s hard to understand, but it simply refers to all the levels of the variety of life on our planet. The word itself is the combination of the words ‘biological’ and ‘diversity’. What biodiversity covers is so vast that it includes not just species, but also the different processes species undergo – ecological and evolutionary, and life sustaining cultural processes. The term also is not limited only to those species that are endangered, atypical, or vulnerable, rather all living things including organisms like fungi and microbes, and of course, us, humans.
How Crowdfunding Helps in Biodiversity Conservation
Channeling the internet’s power for public appear has been fully utilized by crowdfunding. Groups and individuals who have the passion for conserving biodiversity have seen how the platform of crowdfunding works, which is why they turn to this platform to fund their causes. Records gathered claim that crowdfunding has been able to help fund around 577 projects relating to the conservation of marine and land species in around 80 countries (the campaigns were funded through 38 countries), and it has raised a total of $4.8 million since 2009. If more crowdfunding campaigns can be started to put up funds for biodiversity conservation projects, many endangered species will be saved.
More Than Just Money
Fundraising campaigns have been around for a long time, and it has been done numerous times to be able to fund projects, sometimes to support the continuous existence of even non-living things like work of arts. Biodiversity conservation involves us, the world we live in, and the other species that we can harmoniously exist with. The only difference from fundraising campaigns in the past and crowdfunding is the platform used – the reach is wider this time, you can start a campaign in America and have people from different continents donating. But aside from the monetary benefits (to the individual or group who started the campaign), crowdfunding campaigns for biodiversity conservation helps disseminate information around the globe about environmental issues. It also serves as a platform to educate people about what’s happening to places in the world they have never been to, and to animals they have not seen face to face.
Conservation Projects Funded through Crowdfunding Campaigns
A great number of conservation projects have already been funded through crowdfunding campaigns, such as the reduction of African lion killings in Tanzania. Because lions attack livestock, people retaliate back by poisoning these animals. Through proper education of people who share habitat with the lions, both species can be saved – humans and lions, as well as livestock. Crowding also funded a project to save Tasmanian devils from a very deadly disease that decreased their population, the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). Funds were also raised to support a project about the conservation of the Californian coast.
Sheepdogs That Protect a Penguin Colony
A place called Middle Island in southern Australia, just off Victoria State, there is a Penguin colony that used to be 800 in number, but was reduced to 10. The reason why that happened were foxes, they preyed on the flightless birds until they decreased in number. However, a local chicken farmer named Mr. Allan Marsh had a solution, deploy sheepdogs to protect the penguins, particularly the Maremma breed. One of the employees of Mr. Marsh in his farm was a university student, and he was the one who wrote a proposal suggesting the solution of deploying Maremma sheepdogs to protect the penguins. To educate people about the truth behind Mr. Marsh’s theory, producers made a film about the subject, Oddball. A crowdfunding campaign was started; riding on the success of the film Oddball, and the organizers was able to raise a total of $18,000 to fund the purchase and maintenance of two Maremma puppies. Today, ever since the deployment of sheepdogs, the penguin population in Middle Island has increased to triple digits.
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