MakeFor the planet

Fifteen teams of four members from all over the world will join the Make For The Planet competition at Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysia on June 24~29, 2018 to tackle 5 challenges related to marine conservation. We are happy to participate in this event as a sponsor, and excited to see the solutions coming out from this competition!

The 5 challenges have just been released! Let’s have a look at what they are!

Challenge #1 Restoring Reefs Everywhere: Scalable Design Innovations to Restore Coral Reefs

Restore Coral Reefs

(photo credit: Jessica Levy)

This challenge seeks solutions that operationalize coral restoration efforts so that the outplanting process becomes more efficient (maximize productivity with minimum wasted effort), and scalable so that we can achieve coral restoration over large areas (kilometers vs. meters, and millions of corals vs. thousands of corals).

This challenge is presented by Tom Moore, Coral Reef Restoration Team Lead of NOAA Restoration Center. Click this link to learn more details about this challenge.

Challenge #2 Transforming Traceability: Incentivizing Catch Documentation for Global Fisheries Stability


This challenge seeks solutions that will transform catch documentation and traceability (CDT). What combination of technology and market-driven incentives can best facilitate both government and private sector actors to accurately contribute to robust catch documentation and traceability databases?

It is not sufficient to propose technological solutions to collect catch data for this challenge. The proposed technological solutions need to be coupled with market-driven incentives & feasible plans so that government and private sector actors are willing to accurately contribute and share robust catch information to databases.

This challenge is presented by Marc-Olivier Roux, The Oceans and Fisheries Partnership, USAID (United States Agency for International Development). Click this link to learn more about this challenge.

Challenge #3 Reducing Ghost Gear

Reducing Ghost Gear

Marine animals, like large whales, as well as sea birds, turtles, sharks, and species important to fisheries are getting entangled in discarded fishing gear – this includes active fishing gear, like traps and pots for crustaceans, and “ghost” gear that is abandoned in oceans and estuaries (e.g. gillnets, traps/pots, and fish aggregating devices). For endangered marine mammals, entanglement is a major cause of mortality.

This challenge seeks scalable solutions that prevent non-target capture or entanglement in both operational fishing gear and abandoned (ghost) fishing gear.

This challenge is presented by Dr. Andrew Thaler, CEO, Blackbeard Biologic: Science and Environmental Advisors. Click this link to learn more about this challenge.

Challenge #4 Beat Plastic Pollution

plastic pollution

People’s attitudes and behaviour contribute significantly to many routes of entry of plastics into the ocean. Any solutions to reducing these sources must take account of this social dimension, as attempts to impose regulation without public understanding and approval are unlikely to be effective.

The sub-challenges of beating plastic pollution include the followings

1) Re-capture the value embedded in plastic waste: for example, create scalable products from recycled plastics that could be easily manufactured, have limited environmental impacts, and are zero waste in order to incentivize a market for plastic recycling globally.

2) Scalable solutions to stop plastic pollution and other debris from entering the ocean.

3) Create scalable innovations to manage and clean-up the waste already in the ocean and reverse its negative effects, especially in sensitive ecosystems.

Design and prototype NEW non-plastic replacements for common, single-use plastic items that could be adopted for use throughout SE Asia.

This challenge is presented by Professor Aileen Tan Shau-Hwai & Dr. Muhammad Hafiz bin Wan Rosli, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Learn more about this challenge here.

Challenge #5 Rethinking, Reframing, Re-imaging the Idea of Ocean Conservation: Marine Protected Areas to Ensure a Vibrant Future

Marine Protected Area

(photo credit: Leon Seierlein, Unsplash.com)

This is a big challenge, with many possible solutions. Consider designing solutions that are scalable and address one or all of the following categories:


How might we create tools and systems to not only raise local awareness of the (ecological, cultural, and financial) benefits of marine protected areas (MPAs), but also make sure that the protected areas maintain a viable ecosystem with healthy populations of marine life? Solutions might include, but are not limited to, technology to connect communities directly to local MPAs, more effective ways of demonstrating MPA impact, and technology-integrated systems for better participatory management of MPAs locally.


What kinds of scalable tools and systems can accurately monitor and enforce the protection of MPAs in new ways, so that “enforcement” is not perceived as yet another reason for powerful lobbies to view MPAs as negative? What kinds of functions can these technologies help augment and improve the functions of policy makers and managers of MPAs?


What are the tools and systems needed for multistakeholder sustainable use of MPAs (cultural, economic, and environmental)? How might we create tools to design MPAs like how terrestrial multi-use protected areas are designed – what are the ecologically relevant spaces, what are the spaces for multi-use, how do you design for both economic outcomes & protection of marine life?

This project is presented by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor and Marine Studies Advisor to the President, Oregon State University. For more details about this challenge, please refer to this link.

Stay tuned for updates of the Make For The Planet competition in Borneo in the coming days!

If you have any ideas, suggestions or solutions, welcome to comment!

(Contents source: https://www.makefortheplanet.com/the-event-borneo)

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June 2018