HumanNature, a Conservation International Blog, ran an article written by Mirjam Gommers titled, “Conservation Tools: How Drones Can Save Rainforests?” In the article, the benefits of using drones to monitor large geographical areas such as those monitored by Suriname’s Nature Conservation Division. What historically was a labor intensive job for rangers, can now quickly and safely be completed using autonomous drones.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (as they’re officially known) haven’t been met with open arms by everyone; people around the world have voiced security and privacy concerns. Yet when it comes to conservation, drones may be one of the most important technological innovations in decades — one that could revolutionize how effective we are at protecting Earth’s most valuable resources.
One place where this is already happening is the South American country of Suriname, which is the most-forested nation in the world. These forests filter massive amounts of fresh water and provide direct benefits for indigenous communities who have lived there for generations. They are also threatened by illegal logging and gold-mining activities.
CI Suriname recently organized a drone training for nine rangers working for Suriname’s Nature Conservation Division. The goal of the training was to educate the rangers on how to use drones to monitor the vast tracts of forest they are charged with protecting.
Conservation drones capture detailed high-resolution images of objects on the ground. This may include human activities that threaten nature, like illegal logging, mining or poaching. With the help of drones, the rangers should be able to map areas of interest and detect threats more easily than before, when rangers’ routes were limited by roads, cost and time.