Strengthening the Red List using technology
11 September 2012 | Article
The most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species now has computational support from one of the world’s largest software companies.
As the starting point for conservation action, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a critical resource for environmental programmes in their effort to protect the world’s species. To help more accurately understand current and future extinction threats, IUCN has enlisted scientific expertise and technological support from Microsoft.
“Partnering with Microsoft will help improve the Red List data holdings, increase efficiency in the threat identifying process and tap into the powerful technology that Microsoft has developed,” said Jeremy Harris, Developmental Director with IUCN’s Species Survival Commission.
As the first corporate member of the IUCN Red List Partnership, Microsoft will work to empower the network of IUCN scientists to better understand the knowledge held within the List.
“We want to accelerate the quality and scale of the work IUCN is doing,” says Dr. Lucas Joppa, Scientist and head of Conservation, Microsoft. “Microsoft develops services and software that we believe is powerful enough to solve some of the world’s hardest problems, some of which IUCN is also addressing with products like the Red List.”
As a leading technology company, Joppa acknowledges that there are a number of environmental burdens resting on Microsoft’s shoulders. That’s why the company has made such a large investment into Microsoft Research, a group of more than 850 Ph.D. researchers working to solve some of our toughest problems through technological innovation.
“This partnership was made possible through the work of scientists at Microsoft Research, which then led to the relationship between IUCN and Microsoft,” adds Joppa. “We believe we’ve formed a power partnership.”