RunWild: bridging technology Photo by Md. Towhidul Islam and wildlife conservation

The Vanishing Treasures project aims to address the climate and biodiversity crisis in three mountain areas home to iconic endangered species: the mountain gorilla in the Virunga (Rwanda and Uganda), the snow leopard in Central Asia (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) and the Bengal tiger in Bhutan. The project will test ecosystem-based solutions and promote sustainable livelihoods and land-use to increase climate resilience of mountain communities and ecosystems. GRASP works together with governments, communities, NGOs and researchers in Rwanda and Uganda to improve the conservation of mountain gorillas in the Virungas.

The project also offers exciting communication opportunities, using the latest technologies to encourage people to connect with wildlife.

In October 2019, Vanishing Treasures teamed up with the Adidas Runtastic app to launch the new RunWild campaign. The 12-day challenge encouraged runners around the world to compete with Uuliin Ezen, a real-life snow leopard living in Mongolia, raising awareness on the plight of this vulnerable species. A podcast also available on the app offers an informative insight into the extreme habitat and lifestyle of snow leopards. The Bengal tiger and mountain gorilla will be featured in the app at a later stage.

Vanishing Treasures also collaborates with the Internet of Elephants, a newly founded start up that combines technological development with nature conservation. Through augmented reality, GPS tracking and data collection, the Internet of Elephants creates digital experiences, encouraging users to build a close relationship with nature and wildlife. This collaboration fully supports the co-founder Gautam Shah’s vision to use “unconventional and daring methods to turn the tide on declining wildlife”.

These initiatives are great examples of innovative solutions through which the Vanishing Treasures and GRASP engage stakeholders from different sectors in the fight against species extinction. Follow our work and find out more about the three flagship species on the newly launched website.