discussion / Open Source Solutions  / 30 June 2022

How can open source tools make conservation tech more sustainable and accessible?

Open source tools help our community think of creative solutions, share resources, and make conservation tech tools more affordable and accessible for everyone. All of that means that our Open Source Solutions group is primed to think of more sustainable innovations that can push our community forward!

We’d love to hear this group’s thoughts as we work on our upcoming Sustainability editorial series. 

How can sustainable conservation tech tools be more accessible and affordable to the community? 

Can open source tools help the community access more sustainable options? 

And finally, what sustainable tools and resources do you recommend our community check out?

I've been working with a current visiting scholar who's from China and has been interested in getting started with some acoustic monitoring studies when he goes back to China later this year. I've been working with him to try to figure out some options (with some help from folks met through Wildlabs!) but the name-brand stuff from Wildlife Acoustics is more than double what it would be in the states once customs and imports and exchange rates are taken into account. Open-source solutions that can be manufactured on the ground in countries where we're trying to do work can avoid many of those costs, support local economies, and even be good for the environment to the extent that you're avoiding the (minimal but non-zero) emissions of shipping stuff all over the place.