EcoNet

Our Vision

Why do we need EcoNet?

Aotearoa has many conservation ambitions – to be predator free by 2050, to control pest plants, increase native planting, to restore our waterways, to ensure biosecurity and manage biodiversity.

All this will require millions of hours of work by actively engaged volunteers, local groups, iwi, organisations, councils and government
It is more than an in-field activity challenge, it is also an information management and social engagement challenge.

Currently the IT used in conservation is too outdated, inappropriate and fragmented to overcome these challenges.

New Zealand needs integrated, collaborative information technology systems and standards to engage a huge volunteer workforce in a wide spectrum of activities.

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EcoNet Envisions that in Aotearoa:

  • Excellent information technology and knowledge systems make conservation easier and more collaborative
  • Conservation groups grow strongly and more New Zealanders actively contribute to conservation efforts
  • Progress can be monitored and reported locally, regionally and nationally
  • Respect for Mātauranga Māori and taonga are embedded in conservation activities
  • Evolving conservation best practice is actively shared
  • New technologies are developed and deployed efficiently through user-friendly, open and continuously improving systems

EcoNet aims to:

Design, develop and deliver the IT tools and systems that conservation lacks and desperately needs. We are committed to working with and for
  • Not for profit conservation community groups and hubs
  • Catchment groups
  • Mana whenua
  • Funders (donors, central and local government)
  • Data standards agencies
  • Educators, researchers and students
  • Commercial contractors
  • Councils and government agencies

EcoNet Goals

  • Gain a comprehensive view of relevant IT systems and processes in and outside conservation
  • Design and build a Conservation Activities Management System – CAMS – with respect for matauranga Maori
  • Ensure conservation groups have access to CAMS, with training and support
  • Support and educate community conservation groups to improve systems and processes
  • Actively advocate for the development of conservation data standards
  • Facilitate sector wide conservation data sharing and aggregation

'As someone who wants to help with the eradication of pests in New Zealand, I want to be able to understand what I can do to help, even if it is as simple as reporting a pest sighting. I would like to have a checklist of things to do and things done. I would like to see how my work contributes and how it fits with what everyone else is doing.'

'I am struggling with many spreadsheets and disconnected systems, which prevent me communicating easily with our volunteers and funders how we are doing and what needs to be done. I want to be able to budget, schedule, monitor and reward group and individual activities and share progress and volunteer hours with funders and stakeholders.'

'Our Volunteers and contractors need easy to use, powerful tools that give access to an integrated view of existing information and enable them to maintain the body of knowledge to a high and consistent standard with flexibility for growth. I need the tools to manage and monitor this work.'

'A smart IT tool that can be used in the field would enable me to record my work in a more consistent way to benefit my employer and others working to eradicate pests'

'Good quality technology that allows me to schedule and manage my staff and their observations will allow us to be more efficient. It will also allow us to enjoy two-way sharing of information about pest locations and work undertaken with Council and voluntary groups.'

'Us department managers have no mechanism to get a landscape scale overview of what is happening across organisational silos, contractors and volunteer groups - this creates gaps and overlaps, wasting time and money.'

'I want to see on a map what devices/methods our animal and plant pest control contractors have deployed on our block and the species they have controlled.'

I want seasonal reminders to repeat weed control work with a record of activities so I can track their cost effectiveness.

I want to plot the location of kauri on my block as a reminder to contractors to observe phytosanitary precautions.

'Good tools will help to optimise and demonstrate achievements. I would like to see a broad spectrum of the population engaged at home, at work and in their community.'

'I am aware of many organisations that collect pest information and my research would benefit from having all the information from across the regions collected and presented in a consistent, structured and time & geo-referenced manner. I am happy to share my data provided I know it will be managed according to best practice.'