IO, Jakarta – The Embassy of the United States held an event to celebrate World Pangolin Day and to appreciate the victory of the Indonesian Navy Pangolin Team which had won second place in the 2019 Global Zoohackathon contest in Washington D.C. The celebration was held at @ america, the US Embassy’s American Center, a place whose mission is to provide a space for young Indonesians to learn more about the United States and to share ideas about issues that are important to both Americans and Indonesians. It is located in Pacific Place Mall, Jakarta, and took place on Tuesday, 18 February 18, 2020.
Zoohackathon is a computer and technology coding activity that brings together developers, designers, project managers and subject matter experts to create applications, systems and tools to help reduce demand for products from the wildlife trade. Zoohackathon, sponsored by the US Department of State, promotes technological solutions, builds cross-sector collaboration, raises awareness, and empowers people to combat wildlife trade. During this 48-hour competition, teams consisting of students, software developers, program makers, graphic designers, and wildlife activists used technology to tackle the problem of wildlife conservation. At every local event – held at the zoo – judges from wildlife protection organizations, pilot technology facilities, and education centers from around the world choose a superior solution.
The Navy Pangolin team consists of six Indonesian youth programmers: Lintang Suwatika, Fasilkom UI alumni; Nuruliawati, from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); Yunita Setyorini, WCS; Puja Habibi, alumni of Information Engineering UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta; Linggih Saputro, Master Degree in bioinformatics and computational biology at the University of South Florida; Diah Pitaloka, Fasilkom UI alumni, who succeeded in creating a data extraction and verification tool supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that extracts data from online news articles to find important information regarding the confiscation of wildlife for efficient analysis of wildlife crime. The team will receive a prize of USD 5,000 in Microsoft Azure credit grants to help run their solutions.
The Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the United States HE. Ms Heather Variava said “We from the American Embassy are very proud to be able to support the Navy Pangolin Team that has succeeded in winning at the Zoohackathon Global Contest and invite all of you to learn conservation and play a role in combating illegal wildlife trade.” Furthermore, Ms. Variava said that our enthusiasm, innovation and spirit are the key to stopping the illegal practice in Indonesia and throughout the world. (ohw)