Office of the Spokesperson
September 21, 2017
The U.S. Department of State will host the second annual Zoohackathon on September 22-24 at the San Diego Zoo and on October 6-8 at the Zoological Society of London and the World Wildlife Fund in New Delhi.
Wildlife trafficking – the poaching, illegal transit, trade and sale of wildlife – is the world’s fourth largest transnational crime. In addition to decimating populations of Earth’s most iconic species, wildlife trafficking enriches transnational criminal networks that profit from the illicit sales of exotic pets, delicacies, jewelry, and traditional medicines all over the world. According to the Environmental Crime Crisis report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL, the illegal trade in fauna and flora (other than fisheries and timber) has been estimated by different sources to be worth as much as $23 billion annually.
Zoohackathon is an event organized by the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, that challenges the public to develop solutions that will help stop wildlife trafficking. Over two different weekends this fall, coders, designers, and conservation enthusiasts from around the world will gather to develop new technological applications and tools that will help address the challenges of wildlife trafficking.
At each Zoohackathon site, participants will have 24-48 hours to hack their way toward solutions to challenge statements solicited from conservation experts around the world. At the end of the hackathons, teams will present their ideas and a panel of judges will nominate a winner for each site. All of the winners from the three host sites will be eligible for a global prize.
For media inquiries, please contact Zoohackathon@state.gov.