WWF and Kaninde Ethno-Environmental Defense Association, a civil society organization comprised of biologists, journalists and specialists in healthcare among others, run a drone-operation course for five separate Indigenous tribes. One of them is called Uru Eu Wau Wau and reside in Rondonia in western Brazil.
Tribes have been able to create high-resolution images, videos and GPS coordinates of deforestation sites thanks to the drones.
Good News Network writes that the first time the team used the technology they discovered a 1.4 acre area of clear-cut land. Eventually, they recorded sightings of a helicopter spreading grass seed, implying whoever cleared the forest planned on using it for cattle pasturing which is an illegal activity.
This is a very useful project, especially now during COVID-19. The Brazilian government has not been able to station many authority bodies to stop loggers and ranchers lighting fires in the Amazon. Consequently, the clearing of the forest has been escalating. It’s a cheap option as well. The project can cost as little as $ 2 000 per group, counting both equipment and training.
The technology is surprisingly well-taken to by the tribes and gives them a greater capacity to protect the forest from loggers, says Felipe Spina Avina, senior conservation analyst for WWF.
He told CNN: “They can compile a case with a lot of evidence that they can send to the authorities which then have much greater pressure and much greater resource to act upon the illegal activities that are going on.”
Thanks to the drones, Brazilian rainforests and its inhabitants are safer than before and the future looks brighter for the Amazons and the world at large.