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Shining World Invention Award Recipient: Topher White and Rainforest Connection


Topher White is an extraordinary individual, who designed an acoustic monitoring device to save our planet’s magnificent rain forests from illegal deforestation and founded Rainforest Connection, the company behind the technology. In 2011, on his travels to the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, to trek through its vast, remote rainforests, he heard a distant sound that was entirely out of place --- the sound of a chainsaw cutting down a tree! After this shocking experience, Topher utilized his understanding of available technology and his background in physics engineering, in order to put a device together that could enable rangers to track illegal logging as it happened. This life-saving invention is called “Guardian,” which currently monitors and protects over 358,000 acres of land in 22 countries across five continents.

“It's about acoustic monitoring, listening to all the sounds of our planet, mostly to find threats, but also to study and understand it. I personally believe that sound, the sound of our living planet is the least utilized, and potentially most powerful tool for being able to protect the natural world as it is right now. That's why we put these Guardians up.”

“If you go on the app store or Play store, there's an app, we have “Rainforest Connection.” And you can listen to any live stream from around the world.” Topher emphasized the importance of preserving the natural biodiversity of our precious Mother Earth, not only for our benefit today, but also for our future generations.

Deeply moved by his fantastic invention, “Guardians,” Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Admiringly present Topher White and Rainforest Connection with the Shining World Invention Award for its forest monitoring system, with a token contribution of US$10,000 towards this animal-people and nature-protecting project. May the Light of Heaven shine brightly on you, with boundless blessings.” Our Association members in California, United States, were honored to present the Award letter, crystalline plaque, Master’s financial contribution, as well as Her publications and DVDs to Mr. White.