3 questions for the founder of Karma, the search engine that funds the protection of living organisms

Since May 22, internet users can choose to browse the internet through a new search engine called Karma. If the launch date was chosen to coincide with World Biodiversity Day, it is no coincidence. Indeed, the purpose of the alternative search engine is clear and stated: to protect the living.

Photo: Shutterstock

To achieve this, the non-profit organization donates 50% of the generated income to three carefully chosen animal protection organizations. ASPAS, a pioneer in reforestation, who is committed to protecting forests by buying land to protect them from all human exploitation, Notre Affaire à Tous, who uses the law as a lever to protect nature (it was he who recognized the crime of ecocide), and L214 campaigning to get out of intensive farming.

Yann Kandelman, co-founder of the project, discusses the purpose of Karma and clears up doubts about the efficiency of alternative search engines.

If we can convince even 1% of Google users to use Karma, we could donate more than a billion dollars to our partner associations fighting for the preservation of living things. That’s twice the budget of the United Nations Environment Programme!

Your alternative search engine finances the protection of biodiversity. Why did you choose this goal?

Protecting the living came naturally to us. We talk a lot about the climate crisis, but less about the erosion of biodiversity. However, it is an equally great crisis. Human activities have contributed to the disappearance of two-thirds of wildlife over the past fifty years. And according to scientists, a third of current species are now threatened with extinction.

Extinction is of course a natural phenomenon, but the current rate is 100 to 1000 times faster than normal. In this context we are heading straight for the sixth mass extinction.

However, biodiversity is the foundation of everything. If we continue in this direction, man will not survive. It is of course the basis of our diet, but also the basis of our health, as we have seen with recent zoonoses (note: infectious diseases are transmitted from animals to humans)but also the basis of our economy since of course there is no economy on a dead planet.

In order to raise awareness of these issues and give people the tools to act, we came up with the idea of ​​creating an ethical and alternative search engine to Google that defends biodiversity and the animal cause. Because the two are very closely related. What we mainly fight around animal welfare issues is intensive farming.

There are five causes of biodiversity erosion: destruction of natural habitats (deforestation, artificial soil), over-exploitation, global warming, pollution, invasive species. However, these five causes are exacerbated by intensive farming…

Photo: Karma

Ecosia is committed to reforestation around the world, Lilo funds social and environmental projects and Karma now works to protect living things. Do you think the internet will save the planet?

Creating an alternative and ethical search engine is an extremely effective way to generate income and in our case fund the protection of living organisms. The sponsored links market (the small ads that appear at the top when you do a search) is the largest source of revenue on the web, at $185 billion a year. Today, Google still has 95% market share. But if we manage to convince even 1% of Google users to use Karma instead, we could donate more than a billion dollars to our partner associations fighting for the preservation of the living. That’s twice the budget of the United Nations Environment Programme!

Will users find their way when it comes to search efficiency?

It’s hard to counter the marketing power of Google. And for a long time, alternative search engines have made the mistake on the efficiency side. Today, that is no longer the case for the simple reason that they use the algorithms of another search engine: Bing. Microsoft, Google’s major competitor, has spent billions on research and development to develop this engine, which it offers to other white-label players. This way Ecosia, Lilo or ourselves can bring the search power of Bing to our users. A search engine used by 117 million people every day.

By surfing Karma, internet users participate without spending a dime financing a costly environmental cause. A way to remember that sometimes it’s enough just to step aside to participate in advancing the fights we hold dear. To learn more about Karma and use it on computer or smartphone, find it here.

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