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Catalyzing large-scale restoration globally by revolutionizing impact monitoring, developing new financial mechanisms and supporting local leaders.

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NATURAL STATE

OUR FOCUS AREAS

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Kenya Landscape at Mt Kenya

NATURAL STATE TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH CENTRE 

The NATURAL STATE Research Centre is located at the base of Mt. Kenya within close proximity of open savannah, shrubland, dense forest and wetlands with a great diversity of species ranging from elephants to warthogs to dung beetles.  There is also a great diversity of land management approaches ranging from pastoral community conservancies, to smallholder agriculture to community forest reserves to private protected areas.  In addition there are a large number of organizations testing innovative conservation and restoration interventions.  It is the perfect restoration laboratory.

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FEATURED PROJECTS

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Mt Kenya Landscape Restoration Project

NATURAL STATE is working with community and private conservancies in the Mt Kenya Landscape to develop an integrated carbon and biodiversity credit that will help restore the environment and capture and store carbon through assisted natural regeneration, tree planting and grazing management. The project will provide habitat for endangered species, improve local livelihoods and generate revenue for local communities and the protected areas. In the process of implementing this project, the latest impact monitoring technology is being tested and developed to produce a state-of-the-art restoration impact monitoring dashboard. This will be used by donors, investors, and auditors to assess the carbon, biodiversity, and development gains from restoration and conservation projects. The technology is being developed at the NATURAL STATE Research and Technology Centre at the base of Mt. Kenya.

Rewilding the Orange River-Karoo Landscape

NATURAL STATE is working with the Orange River-Karoo Conservation Area (ORKCA) to develop a rewilding credit. We are working with local farmers and communities to connect and restore an area the size of Yellowstone. The objective is to ecologically restore the fragile semi-arid ecosystem, quadruple the number of native grazers and predators, restore wildlife migration patterns, secure 15M tCO2e and triple employment in the region through eco-tourism. The region is both culturally and ecologically important, being the home of the Nama people and the only point where the succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo and Desert biomes meet. Only 1% of the Nama Karoo is formally protected, and the succulent Karoo is listed among the world's top 25 biodiversity hotspots. This has the potential to be one of the world's largest restoration and rewilding projects.

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The African Centre for Nature Restoration

In collaboration with the Wildlife Research Training Institute of Kenya and educational specialists WildTeam, NATURAL STATE is creating the first nature-based solution training hub in East Africa. Together, we are developing state-of-the-art training courses and a restoration start-up incubator to help African leaders build and run large-scale nature restoration projects, focusing on empowering women. Phase I of the training program will result in four training modules, including the restoration start-up incubator and a minimum of 180 African leaders trained over the first two years. In Phase II, we will scale the approach and course offerings to training hubs across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, resulting in thousands of qualified leaders who can manage large-scale carbon and restoration projects across the tropics and subtropics.

XPRIZE Finals

NATURAL STATE has qualified for the finals of the Rainforest XPRIZE, a global 5-year, $10 million competition that brings together cross-disciplinary teams to collaborate on the world's most urgent moonshots. Our team includes conservationists, Indigenous scientists, engineers, roboticists and others - all with the goal of using novel technologies to document and protect tropical biodiversity. NATURAL STATE is collaborating with Purdue University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Morton Arboretum to develop state-of-the-art, automated systems to monitor rainforests.
 

Our Solution Uses Three Data Sources to Identify Key Species in the Rainforest Landscape:

  1. Local and Indigenous Knowledge Experts
     

  2. Remote Sensing From Automated Drone Flights and Satellite Data for Tree Canopy and Landscape Assessment
     

  3. Drone-Deployed Sensor Packages That Perch in the Tree Canopy to Capture Acoustic Aata, Image Data, and eDNA for Sequencing.

The NATURAL STATE Impact Portal consolidates these data to automate data analysis and species classification. Our goal is to streamline the analysis and reporting of diverse data types to ensure that local communities can directly participate in and benefit from emerging nature finance markets. 

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NATURAL STATE RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS

The COVID-19 crisis has taught us that many of the world’s protected areas are far too dependent on tourism as a source of revenue. 

 

With the onset of COVID, tourism ground to a halt and many protected areas could not afford to pay their Wildlife Rangers. 

 

Although our mandate is to focus on diversifying sustainable revenue sources, we felt we had to respond to the immediate crisis and help raise funds to keep rangers on the ground to both protect wildlife and support their communities.
 

With the support of the Scheinberg Relief Fund, we launched the Wildlife Ranger Challenge with Tusk Trust and the Ranger community.

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