Drones Play a Major Role in the Amazon Conservation Efforts.

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Drones play a major role in the Amazon conservation efforts

For years now, the Amazon has faced threats of deforestation and fires, where most of the fires are started illegally. Keeping the forest intact is not only imperative for the local and regional ecosystem but also for the World. Protecting the Amazon against these illicit activities is difficult due to the vastness of the territory. As a result, drones have become the front lines of defense for the Amazon.

Why should the World care about protecting the Amazon Rainforest?Many of the conservation efforts are led by non-profit groups and indigenous communities. And what they discovered is the multiple benefits that come from using drones to monitor the lands.

The illegal fires are mainly for clearing space for vegetation crops, farming and cattle ranching. Drones are able to track the extent of the threat just by flying over and providing visual evidence.

Why should the World care about protecting the Amazon Rainforest?

The harm of deforestation and fires to the Amazon impacts the World.

The rainforest absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The gas along with the other greenhouse gases trap heat from the sun, allowing the planet to be habitable. An excess of these gases in the atmosphere causes more heat to be trapped and increases the earth’s temperature.
The fires release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And even though the crops that are replacing the rainforest absorb carbon dioxide, the crops only absorb a fraction of what the rainforest absorbs.
Moreover, the Amazon rainforest brings rainfall which stops South America from becoming hotter, drier and effectively

The evidence can include where the damage is, what the damage is and the degree of the damage. Some drones even have the ability to take thermographic images, which plays an important role in determining if the illicit activities are being manned by armed men. Right now, indigenous communities with the help of non-profits, such the Rainforest Foundation US and the World Resources Institute to name a couple, are using drones and other technologies to monitor the rainforest and communicate with the government. The technology uses satellite data in real time, incorporated into smartphone geotagging applications and drones to collect data. The data is being stored in the Center for the Territorial Information and Planning (CIPTO-ORPIO), which is the first data center run by indigenous peoples.
drone graphic

Communities use drones to collect high-resolution images, video and GPS mapping data. These accurate data points are used as evidence when reporting illegal activities. This information can also be submitted in the court as evidence for the illegal activity. Eventually, the goal is to use the drones to alert state authorities of the forest damages quickly and easily.

Drones are also used to raise awareness of problems that the Amazon encounters. Because let’s face it, measuring the entirety of the damage on foot is difficult, and the sight from above is much more impactful. By using drones and other technical support, indigenous communities are able to provide information they need to led discussions, make decisions and influence public policy. Drones helps others understand the overall extent of the damage, provide evidence and deliver hard facts.

As result, the drones have made a significant impact in monitoring the rainforest. The monitoring by the communities have led to a reduction of deforestation; however, there is still much more work to be done to conserve the Amazon rainforest.

References:

Pfeifer, H. (2020, September 2). Amazon tribes are using drones to track deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest. CNN.https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/01/americas/amazon-drones-brazil-deforestation-cte-spc-intl/index.html
Teixeira, F. (2020, March 5). Flying high: Brazilian tribe keeps watch over forest with drones. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-forest-drones-fea-ture/flying-high-brazilian-tribe-keeps-watch-over-forest-with-drones-idUSKBN20S1N8
Guardian News. (2019, August 26). Drone footage reveals aftermath of Amazon fires [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5giZRtzMyaM
The vital links between the Amazon rainforest, global warming and you. (n.d.). World Wide Fund For Nature. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/where_we_work/amazon/about_the_amazon/why_amazon_important/
Nunez, C. (2019, May 13). Carbon dioxide levels are at a record high. Here’s what you need to know. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/greenhouse-gases/#close
Metcalfe, T. (2019, September 9). Why is the Amazon rainforest important?. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/why-amazon-rainforest-important-ncna1051401zzz
AMAZON DEFORESTATION. (n.d.). World Wide Fund For Nature. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/our_focus/forests_practice/deforestation_fronts2/deforestation_in_the_amazon/
BRAZIL. (n.d.). Rainforest Foundation US. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from https://rainforestfoundation.org/brazil/
Weisse, M. & Nogueron, R. (2017, September 7). Indigenous Communities Fend Off Invaders in the Peruvian Amazon. World Resources Institute. https://www.wri.org/blog/2017/09/indigenous-communities-fend-invaders-peruvian-amazon

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