Louis Liebenberg, founder and developer of CyberTracker technology shares his views on the importance of maintaining local knowledge at the forefront and to beware of the fact that technology may seduce users at the cost of dis-empowering local knowledge holders. Louis further highlights the role of the "Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication" in empowering the grassroots.
Louis Liebenberg, a South African scientist and tracking expert, believes that the only way to understand and deal with the impact of global warming is to establish an ecosystem's status quo. "At present we have no idea how many species are really threatened, as we do not have enough observations," he says. "Many species could be going extinct without us even knowing it. For example, it is now believed that the Golden Toad [Bufo periglenes] was driven to extinction by climate change. The only reason that this is known is that a research team happened to be studying this particular species. What we need to do now is to generate raw observations about nature, particularly small mammals, reptiles and flora not monitored by conservation agencies, so that we can detect any declines in populations."
In 2001 Louis Liebenberg worked with David Attenborough on this BBC film showing Master Tracker Karoha Langwane doing the Persistence Hunt in the Kalahari. In this compelling clip, viewed more than 10 million times, we see Karoha pursue a kudu through the harshest conditions in a grueling eight hour chase. https://www.youtube.com/bbcearth.
This hand-held computer provides a high-technology method of tracking animals in the field. Louis Liebenberg and Lindsay Steventon invented the Cybertracker, connected to a satellite navigational system, in 1996.