Louis Liebenberg

1998 Laureate, Applied Technology
South Africa, Born 1960


Project Goal

Monitor the environment with a handheld computer to protect our ecosystems

Location: South Africa

The ancient art of tracking as practised by Kalahari Bushmen has been preserved and modernized, thanks to South African Louis Liebenberg.

In the 1990s, Liebenberg invented the CyberTracker, a handheld, GPS-enabled device that stores complex observations of animal behaviour. Publicity about his Rolex Award helped bring major funding from the European Union, which facilitated the development of the device.

Liebenberg has advanced his technology rapidly. CyberTracker projects have been launched worldwide, to monitor gorillas in the Congo, butterflies in Switzerland, the Sumatran rhino in Borneo, jaguars in Costa Rica, wild horses in Mongolia, dolphins off California and whales near Antarctica.

CyberTracker software can now be downloaded onto some smartphones. The Bushmen’s skills have provided a key, via Liebenberg’s technology, to the analysis of the effects of climate change, pollution and the loss of biodiversity. Liebenberg also plans to establish the Tracker Institute, a centre of learning for the art of tracking.

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